What are Jane Austen's views on a valuable relationship in the novel Pride and Prejudice?

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akasha124 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Austen is very interested in love and mutual respect in marriage and she takes a dim view on marriage for practical reasons (such as money, property, etc.) only.  This is a very unusual view in a lot of ways in her time period, where love was not always the strongest reason for marriage.

This is demonstrated by Lizzy's refusal to marry Mr. Collins, the way Lizzy sees Charlotte's marriage to Mr. Collins, the way Lizzy and Jane view their parents' marriage and even when Lydia runs off with Wickham.  The Bennets don't respect each other particularly.  They are constantly quarrelsome and aren't terribly good parents. Charlotte is seen by Lizzy as having lowered herself by marrying Mr. Collins for practical reasons.

Lydia is happy to be married to Wickham, but it's obvious that society sees her as shamed by marrying him and that he doesn't respect her at all.  He simply wanted to settle his debts and blackmailed Lydia's family with disgrace to get them to buy them off.

However, Jane's marriage to Bingley is seem as a very good thing because he is a proper match and they are in love and mutually respect each other.  The same can eventually be said for Darcy and Lizzy.

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Pride and Prejudice

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