The Trouble With Marriage Essay Research Paper
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The Trouble With Marriage Essay, Research Paper In Jane Austen s Pride and Prejudice the most important topic to theme and character development throughout the novel is that of courtship and marriage. From the very first chapter; the very first line, in fact, you see that this is a novel about the surmounting obstacles of courtship and the levels of difficulty in achieving romantic happiness, for it is well-stated that it is a truth universally acknowledged that a single man in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a good wife. (1) As one of the most famous lines in literature it immediately establishes the centrality of marriage to the novel . This is done first by introducing Mr. Bingley, an event that sets the novel in motion; second, by its implication that the real truth is the opposite…that a single woman is in want of a wealthy husband. Marriage in Pride and Prejudice is a means of survival in an economy-based environment. It is the playing card by which all single women hope to score big and settle down with their winnings. The Bennett s are a perfect example of the institute of marriage that is exemplified in most every case of Pride and Prejudice. They married for the most noble of reasons in their time. Mrs. Bennett whose only purpose in life seems to be to find husbands for her daughters, and Mr. Bennett whose marriage to her is explained as him having been, captivated by youth and beauty, and that appearance of good humor which youth and beauty generally give resulting in his marriage to a woman whose weak understanding and illiberal mind had very early in their marriage put an end to all real affection for her (176).It can be best stated that the two of them merged for security and social climbing in the same way AOL and Time Warner have merged as corporations to improve their own individual worth. They are each others social game pieces with which they manipulate society. Mr. Bennett has a wife and family which gives him an appearance of stability and Mrs. Bennett has a husband to help her in her endeavors to marry off her daughters to prosperous men. Mr. Collins appearance in the book and his eventual marriage to Charlotte Lucas is the quintessential marriage of material benefits. Charlotte Lucas is not in love with Mr. Collins and his disregard for that fact shows he is not striving for perfection in marriage either. They are wed merely because they had no other opportunities and it is socially unacceptable to remain unwed and remain in high society. Charlotte s ability to settle is not unique, but is very clearly explained through her own dialogue. I am not romantic, you know. I never was. I ask only a comfortable home; and considering Mr. Collins s character, connections, 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. (95) Her attitude is optimistic but in no time at all it is evident at least to Elizabeth that Charlotte s situation at Rosings is dismal but only what was expected from such a relationship. The two characters that inspire hope even in satire are Elizabeth and Jane. They are the romantics that search for more in marriage than just a last name, comfort and a nice home to settle into mediocrity in. Jane s virtue and idealism make her success in marriage imminent, but Elizabeth s is only half eluded to in her close relationship with her aunt and uncle who enjoy a genuinely happy marriage and her likeness in conduct to her aunt. Elizabeth s likelihood of marital success seems very realistic in comparison to other marriages within Pride and Prejudice less Jane and Bingley s. The only real indication that they may have settled is Elizabeth s hesitance to refer to refer to Darcy as her love, or anything more than the object of her choice. The ideal marriage is that of Jane and Bingley. They are what all others wish to attain.