Pride And Prejudice - Marriages and the Age of Re

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Austen's Marriages and the Age of Reason Jane Austen successfully portrays the Age of Reason through her characters in Pride and Prejudice. The story revolves around a mother of five daughters, Mrs. Bennet, whose sole purpose is to marry off her daughters to suitable men. Her eldest, Jane, is her most prized daughter. Mrs. Bennet is assured that Jane's beauty and meticulous manners will win her a prized husband who may be able to support not just Jane, but her other sisters as well. The story of this quest told through the second daughter, Elizabeth. She does not necessarily want to be confined to all the expectations of the age. Elizabeth is the only character who demands to marry not only a suitable man, but one she also loves. As far as her younger sisters quests, Lydia and Catherine are immature and simply obsessed with flirting with officers. Once Mrs. Bennet begins to accomplish her goal of marrying her daughters, the reader is able to evaluate some basic values of Austen's portrayal of the Age of Reason.

There are four main marriages in the novel: Charlotte's to Mr.Collins, Lydia's to Wickham, Jane's to Mr. Bingley, and Elizabeth's to Mr.Darcy. Through these marriages, Austen will explain what makes a good marriage and what one must posses in order to fulfill the requirements of the age.

Mr. Collins will be the inheritor of the Bennet family's home when Mr. Bennet dies. When Mrs.Bennet hears Mr.Collins may be interested in one of the daughters she is ecstatic because this will ensure that the home stays with one of her girls. Mr. Collins hears that Jane is involved with Mr. Bingley, so he moves on to Elizabeth. Lizzy flat out declines his proposal of marriage. Mr. Collins can...