The Theme of Marriage in Pride and Prejudice Essay

3559 Words Nov 17th, 2006 15 Pages
"It is a truth universally acknowledged that a single man in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a wife." The second half of this opening sentence of the novel reveals that the "universal truth" is nothing more than a social truth. When claiming that a single man "must be in want of a wife", Jane Austen reveals that the reverse in also true; a single woman is in, perhaps desperate, want of a husband.

In nineteenth century Britain, what people did and their behaviour was very much governed by the social class they were born into. Class distinction in Jane Austen's time was in fact very rigid. The land-owning aristocracy belonged to the highest rank of the social ladder. The class immediately below them was the gentry who had
…show more content…
Bennet. Charlotte and Mr. Collins are mismatched. Charlotte is well mannered and modest whereas Mr. Collins is overbearing and pompous. Charlotte has found ways to distance herself from her husband, encouraging him to do the gardening while she sits in the living room. When Mr. Collins says something foolish, Elizabeth notices, that Charlotte "wisely did not hear." When seeing how Charlotte is settling into the marriage, she gains a new appreciation of her friend. While she may not agree with Charlottes choice of husband, she now admires her ability to manage her husband and her household. When we reach the end of the novel, Charlotte is pregnant. This is a symbol to show that marriages of convenience can work, but at a cost. Jane Austen uses the character of Charlotte to demonstrate that the heart does not always dictate a marriage. Lydia's marriage to Wickham gives Austen another opportunity to explore the marriage theme that runs throughout the novel. At the age of sixteen, Lydia is the youngest daughter of Mr and Mrs. Bennet. She is, in a way, a sad, wayward character. Lydia is portrayed as a flirtatious man-hunter who has no values and no sense of responsibility. She is utterly devoted to a life of flirting and dancing and she is the Bennet girl who mostly takes after her mother. Lydia's ignorance and misbehaviour stems form a lack of parental supervision from both Mr and Mrs. Bennet. Lydia is very impulsive, she doesn't think things

Related Documents