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Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen Essay

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Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

From the start of Pride and Prejudice it is clear that marriage is one of the most important aspects of the novel with the famous opening line reading "It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune must be in a want of a wife". This opening line tells us about the plot and Mrs. Bennett fills in the gaps in the rest of the first chapter with Mr. Bingley taking on the role of the single rich man and the wife being anyone of her five young daughters. We also see the urgency of Mrs. Bennett to have her daughters married, To understand this urgency one must have an understanding of the way things were in the nineteenth
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Neither of these jobs provided a decent wage and they also lowered the social standing of young women as striving for independence was frowned upon. Higher education was unavailable to women so they could only reach a certain level of education and this level would not gain them a decent job so the majority submitted and conformed to the social expectation and aimed to marry a rich man.

The actual relationship entailed by marriage was not very important to most women with many different reasons for marriage being used such as Financial security, Mutual interests, affection, and lust. For Jane Austin the perfect marriage is one based on love and affection rather than a marriage based on financial security like that of Charlotte Lucas or a marriage of Lust like the marriage between Lydia and Wick ham. Jane Austen's ideal view of marriage is like that of Darcy and Elizabeth who built their marriage Love. Charlotte Lucas who married Mr. Collins simply for the security she would receive with out any regard for the life she would have to live with an obnoxious, arrogant and self-absorbed fool. The idealistic marriage that was based on a relationship of true love was a rare thing as most women like Charlotte were willing to settle for someone they didn't even like if it would mean financial security
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