Marriage In Pride And Prejudice

Submitted By counterfeitzero
Words: 1761
Pages: 8


Marriage back in the 1700’s generally resulted from the desperation of women who needed financial stability due to the unstable financial status of their families. Of course, majority of all women didn’t belong to the upper class, so marrying a man with a good financial status will give them a stable life, although the true essence of love may not be present on both parties. This didn’t matter that much because women were so preoccupied by the idea that if they don’t get married soon, they will end up, most likely, in poverty and turn into old maids. But the question is what characteristics does a marriage have to have in order for it to be a life-long success, in emotional and economical terms? In Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen, marriage may possess all or some of the three possible characteristics of marriage: Love, Respect, and Financial Stability and without any of these, the marriage will fail. Anticipating Mr. and Mrs. Bennett’s marriage, their marriage possesses only one possible characteristic of marriage, which is financial stability. Mr. Bennett had long received an estate in which they live in and own, which, if one of their daughters marry, will be “entailed” to his daughter’s husband. He also receives £2,000 annually as a provision for the seven members of his family. Also, in the town they live in, they are considered as the richest because they were able to “keep a good cook”, have their own “servants”, and have admirable furniture, hall, and “dining-room”. They may not be considered as people who belong to the upper class, but people who belong to the middle class. Comparing to Mr. Collins, who actually work for Lady Catherine, a very prominent character and rich, and receives his salary from her, the Bennett’s own more than he does. The Lucases’s, Philip’s, and Gardiner’s also earn less than the Bennett’s. However, in spite of this marriage’s financial stability, it lacks certain other essential characteristics that would make this marriage a romantic life-long success. No marriage can have that romantic chemistry between the two lovers if love and respect have no place in each of the lover’s heart and mind. Between Mr. Bennett and Mrs. Bennett, their chemistry conveys neither love nor respect. During the time when Mrs. Bennett worried so much about the chances her daughters have to meet Mr. Bingley, Mrs. Bennett asked his husband why he was “so teasing” because Mr. Bennett said that she could introduce Mr. Bingley herself to their daughters, without even realizing that his wife doesn’t know Mr. Bingley herself. In addition to this, Mr. Bennett finds his amusement on teasing and making fun of her, and also finds “pleasure” when he is “being eagerly questioned by his wife”. Moreover, they don’t communicate as much as they should, especially over family matters and the growth of their relationship. Also, the time that should be spent for each other is wasted away on personal satisfaction. Mr. Bennett spends most of his time in his library, while Mrs. Bennett spends most of her energy gossiping and finding future husbands for her daughters. Their marriage had only been sweet and romantic once, and it was during their youths, when charm and beauty were still enjoyable and innocent. But as time started passing by, so are their charm and beauty that once gave joy to both of them and began fading away. Another marriage that somehow resembles this marriage’s deficiency can be found between Mr. Collins and Charlotte Lucas. Looking at Mr. Collins and Mr. Charlotte’s marriage, their marriage contains respect and financial stability. They are compatible in a way that they have this respect for each other, owing to their personalities. As Jane had said, “Mr. Collins’s respectability” and “Charlotte’s prudent, steady character” will make “most eligible match”. In Charlotte’s side, she may have “regard and esteem” for Mr. Collins as time passes by due to his position in life and on