It seems as if women are plentiful and men are rare. The man has freedom and the option to choose any girl that he wants, while the women are desperate and fight for whichever man they can get. Jane Austen points this out and shows how dependent the woman is on a man in her English society. This dependence is viewed as a necessary part of upper class England by most and was not criticized. If Jane Austen had written a book simply about English society, these sentiments would not have showed up.
From the first few lines of conversation between the Bennets, Austen shows the reader that theirs is not a happy marriage, nor a marriage of equality. Their marriage was based on a need for money and social status not a marriage reached through love or even any such feeling towards one another. As well as it not being a loving relationship, Mr and Mrs Bennet have completely different personalities. Mr Bennet seems to be an intellectual man who likes to sit quietly and read, whereas Mrs Bennet gives the impression of being slightly eccentric and focuses solely on getting her daughters married. Austen tells us that Mr Bennet was “a mixture of quick parts, sarcastic, humour, reserve and caprice”, where Mrs Bennet is “a woman of mean understanding, little information, and uncertain temper”.
It could be argued that Austen sees the concept of marriage as necessity rather than choice, which she examines and analyses through her characters and their respective partners. Each marriage in Pride and Prejudice has happened for different reasons, socio-economic stability, beauty, naivety to name a few. Can it be said then that marriage for one reason is better than another? Is marrying for money or social status wrong or immoral? Can a marriage only last if there is true love present?
For example, turning down Mr. Collins may demonstrateher as a no-brainer woman among the society at that time. But by rejecting him, this suggests that Elizabeth places her own judgment over social pressures to comfort. In spite of the fact that she has been forced to get married with Mr. Collins by her mother, she persists to her strong position of rejecting his proposal. Plus, although Lady Catherine tries to strong-arm her into rejecting any proposal from Mr. Darcy, Elizabeth gets angry and asks her to get away. Hence, it can be noticed how Austen stresses on the empowerment of women through Elizabeth’s
Bronte may have done this simply to illustrate how Catherine will always have strong emotions towards Heathcliff regardless of their differences in wealth and background. This could be seen as a gothic element as it forebodes an unsuccessful relationship as this would disagree with the social norms at the time. Alternatively this could be seen as Bronte’s authorial voice commenting on the shallowness of society and how two people cannot be
Oscar Wilde’s The Importance of Being Earnest mocks Victorian love and marriage through different characters in 19th century England, which is wittingly displayed using satire. Aristocrats such as Gwendolen and her mother Lady Bracknell both hold contrasting views, which includes what they feel is required in a life partner. Lady Bracknell strongly believes marriage is just a financial agreement and will not let her daughter marry a man who has no status in society. On the other hand, Gwendolen believes love triumphs over wealth, but Wilde seems to change her meaning of love. So is marriage really a result of love or can it be possible that it is simply just a business contract?
Elizabeth is a character who defies the social conventions of marriage in the novel. Austen describes marriage as ‘the only honourable provision for well-educated young women of small fortune’ (Austen, 2008: 104). Austen also states that ‘however uncertain of giving happiness, [marriage] must be their pleasantest preservation from want’ (104). This idea of marriage, as seen by social conventions of the time, is embodied in Charlotte Lucas. Charlotte does not desire love or happiness, but asks ‘only for a comfortable home’ (106), and believes that ‘happiness in marriage is entirely a matter of chance’ (18).
Jane Eyre voices strong opinions on; women’s rights, class and property, religious sincerity, love and justice. Brontë’s scrutiny of these topics relates flaws in each, despite the appearances of some. The novel is subtly humiliating towards males, displaying them a insincere. These flaws are demonstrated through…; consistent character action, The narration from a woman’s point of view establishes a strong voice for women rights, or lack thereof. At the commencement of the novel, Jane’s character is “… a picture of passion!” (pg7, Jane Eyre), when she rebels against harsh treatment at the hands of her cousin John.
Men and women are both to blame for failed marriages for many reasons. Some of the reasons are due to career priorities, miscommunication, financial concerns, infertility, emotional distress, or cultural differences. One of the strongest reasons why many marriages fail is because of women who are career driven. There are career women who can break a marriage or make a marriage. The number one reason a couple face a divorce is that career women are independent decision makers, and they prioritize career to chase their dreams rather than focusing exclusively on family.
Life Without Love or Independence? In Jane Eyre and Hard Times, women are portrayed in a negative light throughout their respected novels; females are represented as being second class citizens to their male counterparts, and are unable to have a thought of their own. The traditional views of Victorian era gender roles are both enforced through the outside portrayal of the women that do not fit the mold of the ideal Victorian women yet is also subverted by the feelings the women feel when they left their bonds, or the consequences of living in the suffering of the gender misogamy they endure over their lifestyle. By expressing the men through traditional Victorian masculine characteristics such as being powerful and dominant to their meek and loyal female counterparts, the novels establish early on the barrier that the protagonists struggle with merely being female. In the novels, women are treated like second class citizens when compared to men and are expected to be content with this Victorian idea of patriarchal domination.