Marriages in Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen Essay

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Marriage in the 19th century was a woman’s priority. Many times women married for social status or attraction but hardly ever for true love. In many cases the happiness of a marriage was based on whether the girl was beautiful and lively and the boy handsome and competent, and whether they were attracted to each other. Jane Austen would not believe that the happiness of marriage was based upon attraction, she believed it should be based upon love. In her novel Pride and Prejudice, she illustrates three main reasons for marriage, true love, attraction, and economics. The two main characters, Elizabeth Bennet and Fitzwilliam Darcy are an example of marriage for true love. They are two of the few characters in the book that have a…show more content…
Later on in the novel, Darcy says to Miss Bingley, "Your conjecture is totally wrong, I assure you. My mind was more agreeably engaged. I have been meditating on the very great pleasure which a pair of fine eyes in the face of a pretty woman can bestow" (25). Here he is talking about Elizabeth, and for the first time we see that he is starting to like her. He tells Miss Bingley that he had the pleasure of staring at Elizabeth, including her eyes and face. This is the first time in the book where we see that Darcy is starting to fall in love with Elizabeth. Elizabeth and Darcy’s marriage is based on respect, understanding and love, which took a long time to build and which is why they will be happy together. Austen demonstrates a marriage for attraction in Lydia and Wickham’s marriage. Lydia and Wickham’s marriage occurred as a result of Mr. Darcy’s assistance. When Lydia and Wickham run away together Wickham has no intention of marrying Lydia. It was only after Darcy paid Wickham off that Wickham consented to marry Lydia. If Darcy hadn’t paid Wickham off then the entire Bennet family would be ruined. Lydia wrote in her letter to Mrs. Forester how much she thought she cared about Wickham, “I am going to Gretna Green, and if you cannot guess with who ... there is but one man in the world I love, and he is an angel. I should never be happy without him, so think it no harm to be off” (242). Lydia is
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