Collins gives Elizabeth reasons why she should marry him, he says, “[I]t is by no means certain that another offer of marriage may ever be made you” (Austen, p.74). Mr. Collins tells Elizabeth that she should agree to his marriage proposal since there is little chance she will ever receive another marriage proposal. The reason he tells her she should marry him is not for love, but rather out of fear that she will never get a second chance. Mr. Collins is not the only one who tells Elizabeth this. Her mother too pushes her daughter to accept that first marriage proposals she receives. While other women in the novel such as Elizabeth’s friend, Charlotte, fall for this pressure Elizabeth does not and in the end Elizabeth receives two more proposals after this one. Elizabeth defies the wrong expectation that is addressed in Mr. Collins’s proposal, when she refuses to marry him out fear of never receiving another
The author created Charlotte and Mr. Collin's relationship to exemplify this observation. It also conveys the reader that some women and men made themselves fall in "love" just to be married. Impassively explaining to Elizabeth why she accepted Mr. Collins's proposal, Charlotte admits "[she] ask(s) only a comfortable home; and considering Mr. Collins's character, connections, and situations in life, [she] [is] convinced that [her] chance of happiness with him is fair, as most people can boast on entering the marriage state" (Austen 123). Concentrating on her friend Charlotte's nonchalant attitude towards her serious engagement with unbearable Mr. Collins, Elizabeth felt sorry for her internally miserable friend. The reader is presented with the idea that, "in other societies, 'love', in terms of the strong bond of affection between man and woman, does not play a prominent role or even a significant role," (Baker) in this period at all. Intermingling of social hierarchies and true love were a rare combination; but Mr. Darcy, nevertheless, gradually learned he loved the flaws that Elizabeth possessed along with her family's, as she did for him, and they learned they did not have to settle for each other at
Nobody would have expected Jane Austen to become as successful of a writer as she has. Her experiences with the outside world were limited as she never left the south of England, however the lack of travel did not affect the author’s imagination. Staying at home allowed her writing to focus on personal experiences dealing with family, society and class. Pride and Prejudice, like many of her other novels, is highly autobiographical and Elizabeth Bennet, the protagonist, and the choices she makes often resemble those of Austen and her family’s. In her novel Pride and Prejudice, Jane Austen uses her own experiences to promote the three main themes: one should marry for love and happiness, not for stability, social class is overvalued and should not be used to influence people, and women of the time were dependent upon men to live.
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.
Elizabeth Bennet and Charlotte Collins in Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice epitomize the two type of women of the era. Elizabeth is strong willed, independent, and wants to marry for love. Charlotte is the opposite. She is easily swayed by a man’s pocket and uses marriage as a way to move up in social status. Elizabeth and Charlotte are foils of each other.
In Pride and Prejudice Author Jane Austen claims that marriage should be between a man and women who love each other equally. Austen's disgust of Marriage and decorum in British culture is written through the eyes of main the main character in Pride and Prejudice, Miss Elizabeth Bennett. It is sad to think that marriage could be bought or in Elizabeth Bennett’s case not afforded. Marriage shouldn’t be the only measure of worth for women. Someone should not feel “repugnance” for a marriage due to situation.
Jane Austin ensures that marriage remains a central component to the main plotline throughout the novel. Through the use of Elizabeth as a literary tool, Austen is able to use her in order to portray her own feelings on marriage. In the novel, the opinion that comes through is that she is of the opinion that marriage should only take place on the basis of love. This is evident through the failings of those who marry for something other than love, and Darcy and Elizabeth’s success. The central plot of the novel is revealed quite plainly in the opening sentence
Most importantly, due to his religious duty. As she told her friend, Elizabeth, about accepting a proposal from Mr. Collins, Elizabeth full of of shock replied, “Engaged to Mr. Collins! My dear Charlotte, -- impossible” (Austen, 122). Elizabeth’s shock is because she believed he would not be the right person for her. However, Tony Tanner agrees that Charlotte views her marriage strictly as a “preservative from want” (Bloom, 66). This symbolizes Charlotte marries Collins because she did not want to be a load for her family especially her mother who went through difficulties to find her a mate Marrying Collins helps Charlotte than it did for him because she received advantages such as financial, security, and unburden to her family as well as getting a higher rank. She coldly admits to Elizabeth, “…I am not romantic, you know; I never was. I ask only a comfortable home; and considering Mr. Collins 's character, connection, and situation in life, I am convinced that my chance of happiness with him is as fair as most people can boast on entering the marriage state" (Austen, 123). Charlotte’s train of thought is Mr. Collins is her last option of marriage to have her own life instead of living with her parents. Their marriage is based on societal norms and she agrees to marry him, even with the knowledge that they have different personalities. She marries Collin in disregards of her self-respect and his undurable personality.
Charlotte is a neighbour and friend of Elizabeth, who is older and unmarried at the beginning of the story. She is simple in her values and does not question a women's role in society. Charlotte's main achievement in the story occurred when she was able to secure a proposal of marriage from Mr. Collins after he had been rejected by Elizabeth, who asked why she accepted. Charlotte explained "I am not a romantic you know. I never was. I only ask for a comfortable home; considering Mr Collins's character, connections, situation in life, I am convinced that my chance of happiness with him is fair, as most people can boast on entering a marriage state" By this Charlotte is questioning Elizabeth's values, believing she is over her head in her ideas. She is simply happy with what she has been dealt
The romantic era in literature was characterized by many different authors, male and female. Jane Austen was only one of many authors in that era, and one of the longest lasting; through her many novels, she shows various views on love and marriage. In Jane Austen’s critically acclaimed novel, Pride and Prejudice, Austen spares no character, male or female, in her criticism of the understood custom that the only route to happiness was marriage.
“It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife.”(Austen 1). Austen gives us the insight of what it was like back in the 1800s when marrying was not done for solely love but more for money and that only a man of good class and fairly good amount wealth can have a wife. Elizabeth Bennet, A character brought to life by Austen in Pride and Prejudice, fights against the norms of her time and marries for love, even though there was a lot of money that along with it love was the main reason. Jane Austen novels
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.
Their limited education consisted of needlework, fine handwriting, singing, dancing, playing piano, and reading (3). Marriage at this time was the only thing that could give a woman any sense of security. If their fathers were to die, it was custom that only the eldest son could inherit the money and property. Unfortunately, if the family did not have a male son the land would be given to the closet male relative, which left the women in a very delicate position. Austen show’s readers this aspect of her society by having the Bennet sisters in the same situation. Without a male sibling their land and home will be entailed to a Mr. Collins. If Mr. Bennet were to die, his five daughters and his wife would be left homeless or at the charity of others because Mr. Collins would not have it in his heart to let them reside in the house with him. Their only way to escape this fate would be to get married. However, there was many obstacles that middle class young women had to deal with that kept young suitors uninterested. One was their social station. The society of this time was so stratified that even one class could be broken down into more distinctions of rank (2). The people did not often marry outside of their social rank, which left middle class women with middle class men. Unfortunately, money also played a big part in the determination of whether
The marriage of Charlotte Lucas and Mr Collins is one that Austen sees as an average one. It is similar to some of those at the time. It is most certainly a marriage of convenience. Charlotte is very cynical about marriage and love. She believes that "happiness in marriage is entirely a matter of chance" Jane Austen criticises Charlotte's lack of romance and idealism, through Elizabeth but underlying that we know she understands her motives for marriage. Charlotte also says that a woman must let a man know that she's interested to make sure she snags him. She advises Elizabeth that Jane does this to ensure a marriage to Bingley. Charlotte is obviously not speaking from experience, because at 27 year old, she is practically an old maid and on the shelf. Nobody wants her, and soon she will be forced to become a governess if she can't find a husband soon.
‘Pride and Prejudice’ is a novel fixated on marriage: throughout, all the ‘action’ occurs within scenes devoted to either the talk of marriage or actual proposals. This cannot be expounded more than within the very first line: ‘It is a truth universally acknowledged that a single man in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a wife’. Here, at the beginning of the novel, a definite, though somewhat sarcastic, statement introduces the main theme of the novel – marriage- and, possibly more importantly, not love.