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Marriage Is a Sentence, a Life Sentence
Jane Austen’s novel Pride and Prejudice is a lovely novel crafted that associates with all of the different aspects of a marriage such as affection, companionship, social class, and first impressions. Throughout Pride and Prejudice, the reader begins to feel the struggle that the Bennet sisters face as they attempt to find their prince charming. When Elizabeth Bennet lays eyes on the available bachelor, Mr. Fitzwilliam Darcy, she finds him haughty and overbearing, while he continues to see her as beautiful and lively minded. Elizabeth’s progressive dislike for Mr. Darcy is fueled further when she gains knowledge of the involvement that he has in her beloved sister, Jane, and his dearest friend Bingley’s relationship. Through the small-town middle-class life, Jane Austen shows the misjudgements that many characters produce when making first impressions. In addition, she remarkably evokes the intimacy, gossip, and arrogance in the sparkling comedy. In the novel Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen, the various reasons for marriage are proven through Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth marrying for eventual love, Mr. Collins and Charlotte marrying for money, Mr. Bingley and Jane marrying for eternal love, and Mr. Wickham and Lydia marrying for marriage’s sake, proving that not all relationships occur for the same purpose.
For example, in Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, Elizabeth Bennet and Mr. Fitzwilliam Darcy’s affectionate companionship, which transforms into a loving marriage, gives a deeper understanding of the many types of marriages seen throughout the novel. Elizabeth is portrayed as an independent and attractive young lady: “Elizabeth Bennet is the heroine of Pride and Prejudice. To some extent, she is the spokesman of the author. Elizabeth is born in a common middle class without plenty dowry, so it is difficult for her to marry a gentleman in Austen’s time” (Gao 1). The quote explains Elizabeth Bennet’s relationship, in terms of personality, to the author of the novel, Jane Austen. On the other hand, Mr. Fitzwilliam Darcy is depicted as an arrogant, overbearing gentleman with a significant amount of money and whose “manners gave a disgust which turned the tide of his popularity; for he was discovered to be proud, to be above his company, and above being please; and not all his large estate in Derbyshire could then save him from having a most forbidding, disagreeable countenance, and being unworthy to be compared with his friend” (Austen 12). The quote gives insight on Mr. Darcy’s personality and the way others may view him. During the development of the story, Mr. Darcy proposes to Elizabeth two times. When Darcy first proposes to Elizabeth, he allows his pride to guide him. When he begins his proposal, he spends more time stressing Elizabeth’s lower social class status than actually asking for her hand in marriage. Elizabeth denies Mr. Darcy because she does not feel the same way and dislikes his pridefulness (Gao 4). Elizabeth does not notice how much of a role Mr. Darcy plays in her consciousness. Elizabeth misinterprets her feelings which leads her to misjudge Mr. Darcy. Elizabeth used to speak to cause Darcy pain without realizing the consequences: Darcy’s admiration and regard (Lewin 132). Her attitude is changed when Mr. Darcy proposes for the second time from the magical power of love (Gao 3). During the course of the novel, the two begin to realize the love that they share for each other. The space between their first confrontation to their unavoidable marriage is extended within the story and is filled with the action of dating. Ultimately, they overcome their impaired circumstances and develop a deep love and affection for one another. Overcoming many obstacles and withstanding the difficult and happy times, Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy’s relationship is that of an average romance narrative. Overcoming status and discrimination, their marriage portrays the strength of true love (Gao 1). Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth’s marriage is seen, overall, in Pride and Prejudice as a marriage established on the values of true love and sincerity.
Moreover, Mr. William Collins and Charlotte Lucas’ marriage is seen in Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice as one that is based off money, social status, and entirely of feeling. Mr. Collins is a clergyman who is seen as arrogant, conceited, and mediocre. Mr. Collins states that his reasons for marrying are as follows:
My reasons for marrying are, first, that I think it a right thing for every clergyman in easy circumstances (like myself) to set the example of matrimony in his parish. Secondly, that I am convinced it will add very greatly to my happiness; and thirdly --- which perhaps I ought to have mentioned earlier, that it is the particular advice and recommendation of the very noble lady whom I have the honour of calling patroness (Austen 103).
The quote provides the reader with a deeper understanding of the intentions Mr. Collins has when dealing with marriage. Likewise, he plans to marry one of the Bennet sisters to inherit their father’s estate, but he continues to show his immoderate benevolence and boredom towards them (Gao 3). Furthermore, after Mr. Collins is denied by Elizabeth, he immediately switches his love to Elizabeth’s friend, Charlotte Lucas (Moore 2). Charlotte Lucas is portrayed as wise and prudent. She believes that marriage is the best option for women of small fortune and class; nonetheless, she has no romantic dreams about marriage (Newman 5). She expresses the thrill she has for finding satisfaction through her relationship with Mr. Collins: “ Charlotte was extremely happy to find happiness with Mr. Collins, whom she married so as not, in a phrase dating from that time, to be left on ‘the shelve.’ She believed it was better not to marry at all, than to marry without love” (Weldon 35). Charlotte does not see a point in marrying without the intentions of loving the other. She believes that if love is not present in the partnership, then there is no point in the relationship. Overall, the marriage of Mr. Collins and Charlotte reflects the successes of what it is like to marry for status and income, rather than long abiding love.
Additionally, in Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen, the marriage of Mr. Bingley and the eldest Bennet daughter, Jane, is seen as a type marriage portrayed throughout the novel and is based on the idea of eternal love. Mr. Bingley is a humble and impressionable gentleman from the North of England. On the other hand, Jane is the eldest Bennet daughter who is described as meek, gorgeous, and easy-tempered. Jane fails to recognize the wrongdoings of others because of her good-hearted nature, which causes her to be naive. Jane is seen to only see the good in everyone, and she is loving to all: “‘You are a great deal too appt you know, to like people in general. You never see a fault in any body. All the world are good and agreeable in your eyes. I never heard you speak ill of a human being in my life’” (Austen 16). Mr. Bingley and Jane instantly fall in love with each other when they lock eyes on one another for the first time. Because Jane has great habits, manners, and is beautiful, Mr. Bingley instantly falls in love. Mr. Bingley and Jane share the same personality traits which causes their love for each other to blossom and come naturally over time: “Jane's romance with Bingley flourishes quietly, aided by family calls, dinners, and balls. His sisters pretend great fondness for Jane, who believe them completely sincere” (Moore 2). For instance, Jane is a kind-hearted and laid back woman, and Mr. Bingley is a humble gentlemen. Jane is patient and friendly with others, especially when it comes to unbearable people. She is able to see the good in every person and is able to eliminate the bad that may be seen in others. A reader may see the marriage of Mr. Bingley and Jane as one of true love, strong feelings, simple, and quite delightful. The two never argue or fight; instead, they simply focus on loving each other and building a strong and stable relationship. However, their partnership is heavily influenced by outside sources, Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth. Just like the separation that Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth experienced, Mr. Bingley and Jane go through the same hardships of having to leave each other. When Mr. Bingley flees to London from Netherfield, they are a great distance apart. While Mr. Bingley is gone, neither of them forget the great love and affection they have for each other. They do not let the time that they are not with each other, nor the distance that they have between them ruin the love they have for each other. When Mr. Bingley returns, they immediately become married at a double wedding with Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth. All in all, the reader may be comforted by the marriage that Mr. Bingley and Jane portray, which is one of true love and sincerity.
Ultimately, in Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, there are many different types of marriages. Lydia Bennet and George Wickham marry for marriage sake, which proves that people marry for different reasons. Lydia Bennet is one of the youngest Bennet daughters; she is described as ill-mannered, foolish, and fearless. Readers may come to find out through various descriptions of Lydia why she acts the way she does:
Lydia was a stout, well-grown girl of fifteen, with a fine complexion and good-humored countenance; a favourite with her mother, whose affection had brought her into public at an early age. She had animal spirits, and a sort of natural self-consequence, which the attentions of the officers, to whom her uncle’s good dinners and her own easy manner recommended her, had increased into assurance (Austen 45).
The quote explains to the reader that Lydia is her mother’s favorite because she is a flirt and the wildest one out of the Bennet daughters. To Lydia, everything is a joke; she is known for her foolishness and failure to care. George Wickham, on the other spectrum, is “a deceitful, shallow-brained and dissolute man” (Gao 4). However, he attracts many women with his good looks and figure and his pleasing address. In addition, he is able to communicate well with others which makes him even more strikingly charming. In the beginning, Wickham has no forethought on marrying Lydia. Wickham and Lydia escape, still in hope that he can produce his fortune in a better marriage somewhere else. Lydia is a source for Wickham to gain money because of the low income he makes as a soldier. Lydia and Wickham’s marriage is a marriage that portrays no sign of pure, true love, and is the most passionless marriage in Pride and Prejudice. Their marriage is based around personal achievements and happiness. Wickham and Lydia disappear for two whole weeks before the occurrence is solved and put together largely by Mr. Darcy. Lydia’s morality is dangerous and, as her morals were, retroactively protected. Following heavy bribes, Wickham is hoping to make a woman out of Lydia (Amis 2). Lydia is young and self-centered and tends to act independently without thinking of the consequences that are bound to follow. Lydia and Wickham marry for all the wrong reasons. Lydia seeks marriage with Wickham because she finds marriage fun. Wickham, on the other hand, strives for marriage with Jane in hopes to acquire money from her family fortune. Neither Lydia and Wickham have the correct ideas and beliefs of what is required to go into a healthy marriage. Eventually, their loveless marriage will begin to decompose due to the basis of their marriage being around financial support and personal happiness.
To conclude, in Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth’s marriage is for love; Mr. Collins and Charlotte’s marriage is for financial support; Mr. Bingley and Jane’s marriage is for everlasting love, and Mr. Wickham and Lydia’s marriage is for selfish reasons, all confirming that not all marriages transpire for the same reasons. Above all, Elizabeth’s first impressions of Mr. Darcy led her to misinterpret her feelings for him. Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy’s marriage is one of wholesome love, sincerity, and pleasure. Likewise, Charlotte has no interest in marrying a man for the romantic part of the marriage; rather, she believes a woman should marry for money and social status. Mr. Collins and Charlotte’s marriage depicts what it is like to marry for money rather than eternal love. Similarly, Mr. Bingley and Jane are madly in love from the moment they lay eyes on one another. Jane’s kind heart and Bingley’s humbleness eventually brought them to possess a marriage based on authentic love. Essentially, Lydia’s foolishness and Wickham's unintelligence leads them to have a marriage established on unmatrimonalistic values. Lydia married to marry; Wickham marries to gain money. Many readers may view these four marriages in Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice as a lesson that in order to achieve a healthy and beneficial marriage, one must base their thoughts, words, and actions around sincere love and affection. Today, many people seek to find a spouse in hopes that they may be united with their soulmates.