"Pride and Prejudice", by Jane Austen: Analysis of their marriages throughout the book.

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The Aspects of 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) Jane Austen uses this as the opening to her novel, Pride and Prejudice. Through this quote the reader is able to assume that marriage will play a big role throughout the novel. The idea of marriage during the 19th century was very important for women, in order for them to have a secured independent life and social status. Austen portrays her idea of the "ideal marriage" as one in which economic and social compatibility is coupled with that of love, respect, and support for one another. Austen explores the different kinds of love and marriage affairs that each couple in the novel encounters. She uses these characters to create and illustrate a comparison between the ideal marriages, to those which are unsuitable.

Beginning with a couple whom Austen depicts as foolish and irrational Lydia Bennet and George Wickham marry for all the wrong reasons. Lydia, the youngest of the Bennet family, is merely a flirtatious teenage girl whose heart is set on men in uniform. Wickham on the other hand a handsome man of the militia is in fact a man with a hidden agenda so to speak. Wickham with a hidden past full of money debts and fraudulent acts tries to lure Lydia into eloping with him and inevitably planning their wedding. As we find out later in the novel, Wickham had been paid off by Fitzwilliam Darcy, to marry Lydia and he had used the money to pay his past debts. Therefore, Lydia is married to a man whom cares for her a lot less than she cares for him. This is exactly how Elizabeth, Austen's main character and older...