Pride and Prejudice

“Marriage is the concern of all her novels-right marriage and wrong marriage, the right and the wrong reasons for marrying”

Which of the following are presented as a good marriage and which are unsatisfactory?

In the novel Pride and Prejudice written by Jane Austen she uses many couples as the ideal marriage or suitable marriage. Jane Austin uses The Bennet family to illustrate the good and bad reasons behind marriage. Mrs. Bennet is an annoying woman whose main goal in life is to get her five daughters married. This is due to the social and financial pressures of the era and Mrs. Bennet wants her daughters to have financial stability elsewhere in case of their father\'s death. In the time period of this story there was very little social acceptance of women who were single their whole lives.

Women who could not find a husband were often referred to as old maids and lived their whole lives with their parents. The Bennett’s\' marriage I believe was not ideal. Mr. Bennet had married his wife because she was beautiful in her youth and was able to supply him with children. Over time, her beauty faded and so did their pleasure of each other. I believe that Jane Austen is showing the reader that marrying only for physical appearance is unsuitable and that beauty fades with time. Charlotte Lucas, Elizabeth\'s friend, marries Mr. Collins for money. It plainly states that Charlotte accepted his proposal for the pure desire of establishment. She was twenty-six years old and her family was beginning to be worried. Charlotte wanted nothing more out of marriage than financial stability and that is what she got. I do not believe that Charlotte and Mr. Collins were in love at all and they did not really seem too happy in each other\'s company. I think their marriage was an illustration of why you should not marry just for financial reasons.

Lydia\'s marriage to Wickham was simply for romance and lust. For awhile, the playful teenager had her eye on military officers. I believe that when Wickham showed her attention she fell in love. But what is sad is that she liked him a great deal more than he cared about her. Wickham had many debts and used the money he got from marrying her to pay them off.

The marriages of the two eldest Bennet daughters were pleasing and appear to be ideal. Jane had longed for Mr. Bingley for quite a while. Bingley was handsome, rich, kind, and well liked by society. He and Jane shared many conversations and had complimentary personalities. I think that they shared a happy life together and Elizabeth and Darcy\'s marriage was the best match in the novel. They both had physical attraction and loved one another, financial security, romance, and companion.

I believe that Jane Austen wanted the reader to know that marriage should be approached as a package, one with love, financial stability, physical attraction, and happiness.