"Love in marriage is more important than wealth." Explore this as presented by Austen in 'Pride and Prejudice' with reference to Forster's 'A Room With A View'. In "Pride and Prejudice' Austen clearly presents successful marriage to be dependent on both love and wealth. Example of what the author does In the Regency era it was conventional for people to marry only for wealth. Context to era Marriage was the primary way that women were able to achieve stability.
In comparison Fay Weldon’s Letters to Alice, written a few centuries after, shows a clear link of how particular concerns, held by society, have altered. A women living in the late 1800’s had very few rights and freedoms. Education was a thing men and if a women engaged in such activities she was at risk of being shunned by society or “left on the shelf.” Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice follows a young girl, Elizabeth Bennet, who struggles against society’s expectations. Being a smart and well educated women, she is somewhat frowned upon, however this has been disguised by Austen through her dialogue. An example is seen near the beginning of the book in which Mr Darcey and Mr Binley’s brother are engaged in polite conversation.
In the past, her aggressive nature towards suitors for her daughters has been a negative attribute, which is why her daughters are single up until this point. Mr. Darcy and Mr. Bingley do have certain love interests in this novel. Mr. Bingley is immediately attracted to Jane, the oldest daughter of the Bennets’, however because of her social status, he is pressured by Darcy not pursue a relationship with her. Mr. Darcy’s age, wealth, and good looks make him a very desirable target for most single women, except for his rude attitude and snobbish demeanor towards people of the middle class. A marriage with him would no doubted improve the
In other words, it conforms to the conventions of marriage in the 19th century. It is a marriage typified by a kind of quiet friendliness, and as such it is utterly at odds with what we have previously seen of Catherine’s character. She recognizes that she must choose Edgar, for the implications this has for her and her children’s lives, however she refuses to accept that this means forgoing Heathcliff and a life of passion. Furthermore, in chapter 9, Catherine puts forward her thoughts on marriage as
With impatience and no precaution, choosing the wrong bride would not just ruin the family’s reputation but also the chance for their other kids to have an opportunity for marriage. She then realizes the importance of not rushing and that these marriages were seen as a business and were not to be taken lightly. This story confirms that the key in finding the best is patience, as the easiest way isn’t always the best way. Reading this story allowed me to see the different views on arranged marriages. Serena an American woman saw it almost possible to imagine getting married to someone she didn’t know or love.
If they wished for wealth, they would have to accept the baggage of its male possessor as well. In fact, the ‘universal truth’ in this novel is that young women would have to excel in husband-hunting or be prepared to die as an old governess. It is not surprising therefore, that “business of her (Mrs Bennet’s) life was to get her daughters married.” After all, Mrs Bennet has not one or two but five daughters. Marriage, it is argued, is the only fortunate event that can happen in a woman’s life. The Bennets animatedly discuss the arrival of a new tenant in their neighbourhood.
For a 21st century reader it is easy to interpret the two themes as divided as it is what we have been socialised to do, however at the time Austen was writing Pride and Prejudice, in the 18th century, it was socially conditioned that marriage and money were inextricably linked. Women were omitted from the entail system which meant they could not inherit their family’s wealth which left them vulnerable and in need of a husband. For those people who read Jane Austen’s novels for her flare of the romantic it is easy to conclude that Jane Austen championed love as being more important than money. However if this is the case, why do both Jane and Elizabeth Bennett marry suitors that are deemed to be wealthy? To explore the tension between love and money even further the main concern in the other two marriages in the novel revolve around money and fortune.
Views on Marriage in Jane Austin’s Pride and Prejudice[i] The brilliant novel of Austin shows rather different attitudes of young girls who come from middle-class families in the country towards love by describing their diverse modes of dealing with love and marriage, which reflects the author’s own views on marriage: it is wrong to marry in pursuit of property and status, but it is also stupid to marry without paying much attention upon the elements above. Therefore, she is not only opposed to marrying for money, but also against toying with marriage. She puts much emphasis on the importance of ideal marriage and regards the affection between two lovers as the solid foundation for arranging an ideal marriage. In Pride and Prejudice, it is five kinds of marriages that run through the whole book: the tolerable kind because of incompatibility of sentiments between Mr. and Mrs. Bennet, the imprudent kind for the favor of appearance and ardor between Lydia and Wickham, the dependent kind for the sake of property between Charlotte and Collins, the harmonious kind because of heart-to-heart love between Jane and Binley, the blessed kind as a result of knowing each other well and exchanging hearts between Elizabeth and Darcy. We can also divide those five kinds of marriages in three sorts, according to the diverse foundations they are established upon.
She is sure, that “pride – where there is a real superiority of mind, pride will be always under good regulation”. But when she receives letter from him, she understands it was very bad of her to think about him in such a way. Thirdly, Austen shows her readers that there is difference between love and marriage. “It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife”. According to Charlotte “happiness in marriage is entirely a matter of chance… and it is better to know as little as possible of the
Most important, she does not realize that, rather than being committed to staying single (as she always claims), she is in love with and wants to marry Mr. Knightley. Though these mistakes seriously threaten Harriet’s happiness, cause Emma embarrassment, and create obstacles to Emma’s own achievement of true love, none of them has lasting consequences. Throughout the novel, Knightley corrects and guides Emma; in marrying Knightley, Emma signals that her judgment has aligned with his. Austen predicted that Emma would be “a character whom no one but me will much like.” Though most of Austen’s readers have proven her wrong, her narration creates many ambiguities. The novel is narrated using free indirect discourse, which means that, although the all-knowing narrator speaks in the third person, she often relates things from Emma’s point of view and describes things in language we might imagine Emma using.