Money and Marriage in Pride and Prejudice

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Pride and Prejudice, written by Jane Austen, is a classic romance from the 19th century. The title itself gives away two out of the three main themes of the story: pride and prejudice. The last theme, constantly referred to during the novel, is marriage. In the novel, Jane Austen presented many different couples, each with their own nature and characters. Through this, she is able to communicate her belief regarding an ideal marriage, which should include a high degree of love, understanding, and commitment. Lydia and Wickham is portrayed as the least unstable couple, because they have a serious lack in all three virtues that Austen set up as requirements for the ideal marriage. Through Elizabeth’s voice, Austen speaks of her disapproval of Lydia and Wickham. She refers to Lydia as a person who “wanted only encouragement to attach herself to anybody.” (Austen, 200). And since, in her opinions, it’s an “astonishment that Wickham should marry a girl whom it was impossible he could marry for money”, the union of these two disgraceful people is both surprising and amusing news. Lydia would have attached herself to any other officer, clearly implies that there is no love in this relationship. The fact that Wickham has been such a scammer before shows that he does have commitment, but it’s commitment to the money, not the girl he marries. With that, there are high doubts that there could be understanding between two people, who marries each other not out of love and commitment, but because of lust and money. Next, Austen describes the marriage between Mr. Collins and Charlotte Lucas as a typical marriage during the Regency Period, which completely lacks love, but includes a moderate degree of understanding and a lot of commitment. Charlotte Lucas and Mr. Collins married each other mainly to maintain their social status. It is understood that Mr. Collins does not possess
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