In Pride and Prejudice, what are various aspcts of love and matrimony that Jane Austen represents? What are three examples?

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Tamara K. H. eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Jane Austen, in her novel Pride and Prejudice, gives accounts of many different types of marriages, some marriages involve love, some do not.

One example of a marriage without love is Mr. Bennet's marriage to Mrs. Bennet. Mr. Bennet chose his wife because he found her very attractive, he did not, however respect her. The consequence is that he finds himself married to a very, very silly woman, who raises his daughters without any principles. Mrs. Bennet's silliness is especially demonstrated when we see her reaction to Lydia running off with Wickham. When their marriage is finally forced, Mrs. Bennet's response is to be jubilant that she has married one daughter out of five. All thoughts of the damage Lydia has done to the family are erased; she is only concerned about Lydia's wedding clothes (Austen, Pride and Prejudice, Ch.49).

A second example of marriage without love is a more beneficial one. Charlotte Lucas accepted the proposal of Mr. Collins because she had no fortune, was plain, and it was unlikely that she would receive another offer. Even though Mr. Collins is a very ridiculous man, he is very respectable and treats her very well. Because Charlotte is well-cared for and well-provided for, Elizabeth agrees that Charlotte's decision was a wise one.

A third example of marriage, but this time with love, is Elizabeth's marriage to Mr. Darcy. This marriage is particularly ironic because when she first meets him, Elizabeth thinks Mr. Darcy to be an arrogant and prideful man. Later she learns that he is very caring and even self-sacrificial. Austen uses this example to show that love does not have to be the burning passion romantics like to picture. Instead, love can grow and blossom.

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Pride and Prejudice

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