Discuss three of the different reasons for marriage shown in ‘Pride and Prejudice’ and consider what Jane Austen may have been saying about marriage in her society.
In the novel the concept of marriage was very different to what it is today. Marriage in the 19th Century was different because women were expected to marry young and they were reliant on their husbands for financial security. Also eloping was seen as being a disgrace to all the family. However, nowadays women earn their own money, have a career and are financially independent. They are also able to combine their careers with looking after the children. I am going to look at the three different types of marriages which are in the novel; The Mercenary Marriage, The Passionate Marriage and The Marriage for Love.
A Mercenary Marriage means only getting married for money. A financial marriage would be an attractive prospect because of status and money and the Position in society. The people who married for a financial future were Mr Collins, Charlotte and Wickham.
Charlotte did not marry for love and she can’t stand Mr Collins but she only married him so that she will have financial security. She married Mr Collins because she knows that he will inherit Mr Bennet’s property when he dies because Mr Bennet has no sons so Mr Collins is the next male relative. She also saw heard Mr Collins propose to Elizabeth but as Elizabeth refuses him Mr Collins withdraws his offer. Then Charlotte decides to secure her marriage by trying to get Mr Collins to propose to her. “It’s object was nothing less, than to secure her from any return of Mr Collins addresses, by engaging them towards herself.” Charlotte sees Mr Collins in the lane and deliberately goes out to meet him because when she gets to know him she can then secure her marriage. “Miss Lucas perceived him from an upper window as he walked towards the house, and instantly set out to meet him accidentally in the lane.”
Mr Collins did not marry for...