Pride and Prejudice

Love and Marriage in Pride and Prejudice

"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). From the first, very famous sentence of Pride and Prejudice, Jane Austen introduces to her readers a satirical view of, not love, but marriage, concepts that in 19th century England were not necessarily very closely related. The novel does not begin with a man in love being in want of a wife, but rather with the statement that men, by a certain stage in life, become ready to marry and then seek out a wife. This rather unromantic view of marriage is heavily parodied by Austen, and she gives us with a very parable-like story of matrimony, presenting the reader with more than several marriages and courtships, and showing her readers that the only way to marry is for love. Austen presents the reader with four marriages, each based around different motivations including lust, economic stability, beauty and most importantly, love.

Unlike the other marriages in the novel, Mr. and Mrs. Bennet's is based around Mr. Bennet's desire for Mrs. Bennet's beauty. In addition, the marriage is shown in its later years, when it is obvious that their union was both unsuccessful and unfulfilling....

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