Gavin Cox. Mrs. Schroder. English 4. 2-16-17. Marriages
1166 WordsMar 8, 20175 Pages
Marriages in Pride and Prejudice In the book Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen, the author begins the novel with a quote about marriage. “It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a wife”. (p.1) Austen alludes to the fact that in 18th century England, once a man has become wealthy, it is the natural progression for him to seek out a wife. Likewise, women were aware of the fact that men of high social position would be in search of a wife, and they knew it was their responsibility to make such a man ask for their hand in marriage. For women of this era, marriage was the only respectable option for them to be independent of their…show more content…
(p. 79) Collins and Charlotte Lucas were not the only couple that gained economic stability by marrying. George Wickham married Lydia Bennet so that all his debts would be wiped out when Darcy agreed to pay them off if Wickham married Lydia. Wickham also would be paid a hundred pounds a year by Lydia’s father as a dowry payment. In addition, Darcy would pay Wickham a thousand pounds for the marriage and would pay Wickham’s commission, an ensigncy in the Regulars. This definitely benefited Wickham by providing him with financial security. One main difference between Charlotte and Collins’ marriage versus Lydia and Wickham’s is that Lydia was very physically attracted to Wickham and was extremely excited about getting married. Wickham was drawn to Lydia’s immature and fun personality, but married her mostly because of his debts being paid by Darcy. Charlotte and Collins married because it was a sensible decision, but they were not attracted to each other. Charlotte actually preferred it when Collins was away.
Several of the characters in Pride and Prejudice married for lust and beauty. Mr. Bennet “captivated by youth and beauty, had married a woman whose weak understanding and illiberal mind had very early in their marriage put an end to all real affection for her. Respect, esteem, and confidence had vanished forever; and all his views of domestic happiness