Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen - discusses the characters fear in making decisions.

Essay by justine1991High School, 12th gradeA-, October 2008

download word file, 4 pages 5.0

The intricate nexus of marriage, status and love in Jane Austen's society is unfolded through the development of plots and characters of her novel Pride and Prejudice. Through life altering decisions made by her characters we see how their fear and foresight of situations will affect them. In the nineteenth century's rural England, marriage was a woman's chief aim, both financially and socially. Financially because of women's dependent position marriage was the "only honourable position", infinitely preferable to the dependence of an unstable spinsterhood. Money was, therefore, a very significant aspect of Austen's society, especially when marriage was concerned. "A single man of large fortune" was naturally considered as "a nice thing" for the unmarried girls. Partners were chosen for what might now seem unemotional reasons, fortune and connections, similar to, but preferably better than one's own. By representing a series of marriages, Austen in this novel unearths and elucidates different aspects of the various characters fears towards their decisions.

In Pride and Prejudice the most successful of her marriages is the Elizabeth-Darcy one. This predominantly love based marriage succeeds solely due to Elizabeth’s stubbornness and fear of ending up in a marriage similar to that of her parents. If it were not for her fear of being in a loveless marriage Elizabeth would have been married earlier in the novel, to Mr. Collins. The marriage of Elizabeth’s parents, Mr. and Mrs. Bennet, is one of the faulty ones. Mr. Bennet married his wife being "captivated" and tempted by her "youth, beauty" and physical appearance. He forgot that the first appeal of a pretty face does not last long unless serenity of mind and sweetness of temper provide more enduring powers of attraction. Moreover, Mrs. Bennet inherited no property and therefore from every point of view, this marriage...