Pride and Prejudice and Money

2278 Words10 Pages
Write a detailed analysis of the circulation of money – financial transactions, information about assets and incomes, debts, purchases, sales and gifts - in one of Jane Austen’s novels, explaining how the monetary plot overlaps and intersects with the development of the marriage plot. It is universally recognised that love and fortune or marriage and money are prevalent themes within Jane Austen’s writing. In the novel Pride and Prejudice the plot strongly reverberates with information on assets and incomes which identifies with the marriage plot. However, Austen does not discuss money and marriage as separate; she correlates the two themes and through different marriages reproduces the connection of money and marriage. 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. Charlotte Lucas would die an “old maid” without fortune unless she married Mr Collins, and Lydia would be without a husband and reputation if Mr Wickham was not bribed with money to marry her. Austen highlights the importance money plays in a union of characters. Money and marriage are
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