Pride and Prejudice

Essay by Jala612University, Bachelor'sA+, April 2004

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Money, either the possession or lack of it, is of tremendous importance in most aspects of our lives. This is no less the case for the characters in Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice. In fact, one's wealth is a significant factor in several aspects of the plot of this novel. It shapes relationships between people, influences their decisions, and even determines their hope for the


The above contentions are supported from the very first chapter of "Pride and Prejudice". This chapter illustrates the concern, which ignites in regard to a young man, Mr. Bingley, who moves to the area thought to have significant wealth. Mrs. Bennett considers him one of the most eligible bachelors, in particular, simply because of his wealth. In her very first statement, Austen interjects:

"It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a wife".

And this is certainly the case in the mind of Mrs. Bennet, whose only job throughout the novel is to marry off all five of her daughters to suitable husbands. Mrs. Bennett adamantly questions her husband about the noticeably new arrival to the community in an effort to reveal crucial information, which might aid her in her desire to spark a relationship between Mr. Bingley and one of her five daughters. Obviously, not any man is suited for this

purpose, only a wealthy man; and it is not just a concern of Mrs. Bennett but a concern of all mothers of other young unmarried women in the community as well.

As is reflected in Pride and Prejudice, marriage throughout the beginning of the 1900's is one of the primary mechanisms of ensuring societal advancement. More so than looking to any type of business pursuits, such as...