Different Attitudes to Marriage in Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice

1196 Words5 Pages
In her Pride and Prejudice, Austen is almost pre-occupied with the theme of marriage. Marriage is a crucial issue of a woman’s life. But it was more crucial for the women of her society, when women mere largely dependent on their male counterparts. So, women sought financial as well as social support through marriage. But Austen did not approve of it. In her novel Pride and Prejudice gives preference to a marriage which is based on love. In her novel, Austen presents several contrasting attitudes to marriage.The five Bennet sisters - Elizabeth, or Lizzie, Jane, Lydia, Mary and Kitty - have been raised well aware of their mother's fixation on finding them husbands and securing set futures. There are mainly four attitudes to marriage are presented in the novel: the marriage for money, marriage for the satisfaction of bodily desires, marriage based on the physical look and marriage for love. Marriage of Mr. Collins and Charlotte: At first, “marriage for money”- this attitude is presented through Mr. Collins and Charlotte. Both men and women of Austen’s society had internalized the idea that women were financially and socially dependent on men. Women of that time sought men above her station only for financial security. Men also understood it. In this regard Mr. Collins is a true production of this society. He wants to “make amends” to the Bennets girl for the entail on the property by marrying one of them. It is very ridiculous that in such a matter of marriage, he is considering only the “property” not his own prudence whether the Bennet girl is fit for him or the marriage will be a proper one. When we look at another character of this novel namely Charlotte Lucas, we see that she is also going on the same path of the society. The union between Charlotte and Mr. Collins is a good example of this marriage that brought about entirely for economic reasons.
Open Document