To marry for money and not love is frowned upon as a social norm, but is also seen as an opportunity for women to rise in the social hierarchy. Though, love is to be the reason why bonds like marriage exist. Being a woman in the nineteenth century limits social advancement and makes it seem impossible without wealth, a background of family fortune, or matrimony to a man labeled high class. Emma Woodhouse, from the novel Emma written by Jane Austen, defines what it means to seek stature through marriage and how couples can aid in contexts such as social groups. Austen clearly covers social groups in her novel, but making the novels focal point circumvent around Emma. We look beyond how class enables opportunity for women and see just how
In Pride and Prejudice, Jane Austen introduces the major thematic concept of marriage and financial wealth. Throughout the novel, Austen depicts various relationships that exhibit the two recurring themes. Set during the regency period, the perception of marriage revolves around a universal truth. Austen claims that a single man “must be in want of a wife.” Hence, the social stature and wealth of men were of principal importance for women. Austen, however, hints that the opposite may prove more exact: a single woman, under the social limitations, is in want of a husband. Through this speculation, Austen acknowledges that the economic pressure of social acceptance serves as a foundation for a proper marriage.
Darcy as a proud, arrogant man based upon his actions at the assembly where she first sees him. Elizabeth Bennet and Mr. Darcy first meet at a ball where she instantly believes him to be a rude individual as she watches him only dance with women he knows and hears him call her tolerable. Elizabeth is offended by Mr. Darcy’s actions at the ball, and uses this knowledge to instantly form a negative opinion of his character. Mr. Darcy’s good nature and kind heart is therefore overlooked by Elizabeth as they continue to see each other, and she does not let go of her original prejudice of him until the end of the novel when she eventually realizes her love for him and marries him. Elizabeth’s poor and unchanging opinion of Darcy led to her initially saying no to Darcy’s first marriage proposal. Had Elizabeth not held a grudge on Mr. Darcy for his original actions at the ball, she could have realized her love for him sooner. Her mistrust of Darcy also led to repercussions that negatively affected her and her family’s lives. She would not have been deceived by Mr. Wickham and she would have saved her family from shame and embarrassment if she would have waited longer to form an opinion of Mr.
Collins' arrogant and assertive tone in this passage displays his prideful character and his high perception of himself, which is established because of his expectations for Elizabeth to follow the social norms. Even though he hardly knows Elizabeth, Mr. Collins seems to believe that because Elizabeth is a young, unmarried young woman, she will be jumping for joy at the idea of marrying a wealthy man like himself. When he declares, "I am therefore by no means discouraged" (105), he is portraying how arrogant he is in his image and proposal. Even though she has clearly expressed her opinion and has kindly denied his offer, he still believes that she will be his wife. In his eyes, her rejection just makes him believe that she is trying to hide her feelings for him and gives him the chance to repeatedly propose to her until she admits her feelings for him. Since Mr. Collins is the man who is going to inherit Mr. Bennet's estate when Mr. Bennet dies, his engagement to Elizabeth would be beneficial to both her and her family, which is why Mr. Collins is so arrogant and confident with his proposal and is not discouraged by Elizabeth's rejection. Also, Mr. Collins reassures Elizabeth that sometimes, "the refusal is repeated a second, or even third time" (105). This illustrates his belief that Elizabeth is just pretending to be someone she is not and that once she comes to her senses and drops the act, she will agree to marry
The novel Pride and Prejudice, by Jane Austen, is set in a world with very strict social rules. In her essay Austen’s Blush, Mary Ann O’Farrell analyzes the breaking of these rules, or incivility, in the novel. She refers to public incivility as exposure, where the character’s inappropriate actions are visible by many people. She uses mortification and embarrassment interchangeably as the uncomfortable feelings experienced by socially aware characters when social rules are broken, and divides these feelings into two parts, the buildup as transgressions are being made and the release when the situation is escaped or resolved. Blushing is the physical act that reflects these feelings of mortification and embarrassment, one of the few socially acceptable actions that reveal a person’s true feelings. O’Farrell disagrees with George Henry Lewis’ criticism that “Austen misses [...] ‘many of the subtle connections between physical and mental organization’” (O’Farrell 127), instead arguing that Austen uses physical changes to indicate her characters’ mental states, in particular using blushes “as natural and involuntary signals of embarrassment, vexation, anger, or love” (O’Farrell 128). O’Farrell argues in her aptly titled Austen’s Blush that that the incivility of embarrassment, which blushing indicates, in Pride and Prejudice, is necessary for the progression of the plot, the connections between the characters, and the experience of the reader.
During the Regency Era in Britain, society tends to favor men over women on the matter of inheriting property through the practice of entailment. Single women during this time period are in danger if they are not married because once their father or male guardian dies, they would be homeless and penniless if they do not receive an inheritance to be finally secure. Because of this, many women would marry for money not love to not become a burden on their family and to protect themselves from destitution. In Pride and Prejudice, Jane Austen satirizes the concept of women who would marry for money and not for love by using irony, satire, understatement, and hyperbole. The message she conveys throughout the novel is that it is ridiculous to marry only
In Pride and Prejudice, societal norms and cultures are reflected by the manners and etiquette during the Victorian times. The manners and etiquette highlight major conflicts throughout the book and play as a snapshot of the Victorian mores. An example of the societal norms and cultures during this historical era is exhibited when Elizabeth comes to visit her sister at Mr. Bingley’s house. Elizabeth arrives at Mr. Bingley’s house with muddy skirts after walking through the wet fields and woods. However, she is received very cordially; “That she should have walked three miles so early in the day, in such dirty weather, and by herself, was almost incredible to Mrs. Hurst and Miss Bingley; and Elizabeth was convinced that they held her in contempt for it” ( Austen
to accept his hand in marriage so she will be well off in the future
Austen, Jane, Claudia L. Johnson, Susan J. Wolfson. Pride and Prejudice, A Longman Cultural Edition. New York: Longman, 2003.
Before ever meeting him in person Elizabeth thinks there is something “very pompous in his style” (65). Although he is well mannered and apologizes for being the one to inherit the estate, there is, “the mortifying supposition of his viewing it all as his own future property” (66). It is also revealed that Mr. Collins is in search of a wife and he believes that one of the Bennet daughters will do. He is not marrying for love however, and more so because Lady Catherine told him he needs to find a wife. When Mrs. Bennett informs him that Jane is soon to be engaged, he immediately shifts his attention to Elizabeth, who turns down his marriage proposal.
She wanted to be expressive and take a stance, but in her time and age, it was unrealistic. A struggle she faced, for example, was when Jane was ill at Netherfield Park. Elizabeth was torn between her sister, and being a proper lady. She didn’t know whether to sit at home and wait, or run through the muddy fields to her sister. Elizabeth’s mother was against her going through fields as she said, “How can you be so silly, as to think of such a thing, in all this dirt! You will not be fit to be seen when you get there.”(Austen 24) Her mother did not want her to go, because it would look very poorly on her behalf. Elizabeth however not caring about her reputation, was insistent on walking to Jane. Elizabeth did not want to conform to society, ever. So when Collins asks for Elizabeth’s hand in marriage, she, among the pressure from her family, promptly refused. To Elizabeth, Collins was foolish and pompous, and she could stand to think to ever marry someone so humiliating. Even when Darcy proposes to her for the first time, she refuses. Her hasty judgments led her to think that he was an arrogant man who only cared for his
Her dislike of him grows as his liking of her increase until whilst she is visiting her recently married best friend Charlotte, and her husband, Elizabeth’s cousin Mr Collins, Mr Darcy proposes. Elizabeth refuses, however when she discovers she was mistaken in her view of him her feelings towards him warm, particularly after she finds out he saved her sister from disgrace by paying Mr Wickham (Darcy’s adversary and the man who had eloped with her sister) to marry Lydia. They finally put aside their differences and marry, to Darcy’s aunt Lady Catherine de Bourgh and Miss Bingley’s disgust.
Elizabeth interrupts him, "You are too hasty, sir," she cries. "I am very sensible of the honour of your proposals, but it is impossible for me to do otherwise than to decline them" (105). Despite Mr. Collins’ circumstance and position to inherit the family household, Elizabeth does not hesitate to reveal her true feelings on the subject. Furthermore, Elizabeth rejects Darcy’s first proposal as well. Similar to Mr. Collins, Darcy is not very courteous in his proposal. Instead of embracing his love for Elizabeth, Darcy suppresses it and begins to talk about other details, such as his social status and income. Elizabeth swiftly rejects him by answering, “You could not have made the offer of your hand in any possible way that would have tempted me to accept it” (188). She recollects events in which Darcy did not behave in the most gentlemanlike manner. Although some of these accusations were proven to be unjustified, Darcy himself agrees that “[his] behaviour to [Elizabeth] at the time had merited the severest reproof” (249). Elizabeth does not marry for the sake or wealth or glory, but rather to someone who can give her happiness and love. Above all, Elizabeth even goes up against Lady Catherine de Bourgh herself. Towards the end of the story Elizabeth and Darcy begin to fall in love with each other, but Lady Catherine decides
Because Elizabeth does not perceive any love in her relationship with Mr. Collins, Mr. Bennet does not want Elizabeth to marry him, and says that “Your mother will never see your face if you do not marry Mr. Collins and I will never see you again if you do”(99).