Discuss how Pride and Prejudice  deals with love under the scope of marriage.

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M.P. Ossa eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Pride and Prejudice treats the topic of love, under the scope of marriage, by illustrating two sides of the spectrum of courtship: Love for the sake of emotion, and love for the sake of convenience.

Within these parameters, love is represented almost as an emotional by-product that may hinder the networking and enriching opportunities that a "good" (financially beneficial and arranged) marriage brings with it. 

The novel presents marriage and courtship during a time when women are limited to being another object within a household. Under these circumstances, marriage serves as the only mean of social and financial freedom for women.

When love and emotion come in between, these feelings are often disregarded in favor of a common-sense marriage where both parties are financially satisfied.

In Pride and Prejudice we find that the couples who searched for true love, and sincerely cared for each other, ended up "happily ever after". Elizabeth states from the beginning that she will marry for love, and love alone. She encourages Jane to do the same. They both are victorious in the end. Contrastingly, those who married for convenience or for financial interest, such as Charlotte Lucas and Mrs. Hurst, were essentially unhappy wives with boring lives and only the title of "Mrs." to show for.

This being said, Pride and Prejudice clearly sends out the message that marriage should be a choice made out of love with the aim of solidifying the relationship of two people over time. Contrastingly, marriage alone will only lead to a disastrous life of loneliness, boredom, and dissatisfaction.

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Pride and Prejudice

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