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The primary goal in life for the young women portrayed in Pride and Prejudice was the achievement of a desirable marriage. Indeed, it was not just the young women who worked toward this goal; "The business of her (Mrs. Bennett's) life was to get her daughters married."
The definition of a desirable marriage was one that allowed the young women to find a husband of refinement and wealth. The financial ramifications of marrying the proper young man were of extreme importance, much more so than any consideration of physical attraction or compatible personalities and shared interests. As Charlotte Lucas observed,
Happiness in marriage is entirely a matter of chance. If the dispositions of the parties are ever so well known to each other or ever so similar beforehand, it does not advance their felicity in the least. They always continue to grow sufficiently unlike afterwards to have their share of vexation; and it is better to know as little as possible of the defects of the person with whom you are to pass your life.
The lives of the young women featured in the novel may or may not have supported that opinion, but the basic goal of marriage united them in their life's quest.
It should be emphasized that women in Jane Austen's time had few options other than marriage. Women were confined to their homes and typically dependent on a father, husband, brother, or other male relative. Marriage was a very serious business, although Austen treated it with some humor. An unmarried woman might become a governess or housekeeper--and there are many such characters in the Sherlock Holmes stories, in Henry James's "Turn of the Screw," Charlotte Bronte''s Jane Eyre, and elsewhere. Many might become permanent burdens to their fathers, brothers, and other malerelatives. Lower class women might become prostitutes or poorly paid household servants.
In pride and prejudice, love and marriage had a lot to do with social conditions and the status of women, in the late 18th century and early 19th century; society was a male dominated one. Thier main objective was to get married and settle in. An example of this is charlotte; even though Collins was snobbish, the only reason why she married was ebcause sh realised she was getting old and needed to get married as it was important in that society.
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