Jane Austen's work Pride and Prejudice

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Freshman (College 1st year) ・English ・MLA ・6 Sources

The novel Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen focuses on the motives and reasons that distinguish good marriages from mediocre marriages. People marry for a variety of reasons, including financial gain, love, and consideration of the partner's character. Mr. Collins, for example, wants to marry one of the Bennet family's daughters because she is a patroness, not because he loves her. He does not marry for love, according to his argument. "First, I believe it is the right thing for every clergyman in easy circumstances (like myself) to marry." (Austen, page 19) He believes that his advantages qualify him for marriage. The question is whether people should marry for love or for the benefits they anticipate from a relationship. Marriage is an agreement between two people who come together to form a family expecting to live happily ever after. In the past women used to remain at home did household chores and took care of their children while their husbands went to work to provide necessities for the family. Parents also encouraged their daughters to get married in order to have someone who would care about their financial needs (Lanchester 19). However, things have changed and today parents encourage their daughters to earn own money and not to depend on their husbands. They consider being self-sufficient as an important aspect of life since husbands should never play the role of a father to their wives. A home should have two people earning to enable sufficient income in case of a misfortune. Therefore, it is wrong for individuals to marry for money or other privileges as it happens with some characters in the novel, but instead, they should consider other important aspects such as companionship, love, and family establishment.
Love in the novel, Pride and Prejudice, is considered a reward for individuals who viewed as lucky and do not need a marriage. Some women get married to escape poverty such as in the case of Charlotte Lucas who makes a decision to get married to Mr. Collins because he has a lot of money (Austn 1). However, such a decision is not wise since woman marries because she wants to benefit from the man’s wealth. When individuals decide to marry, they should do it for love and not for money since love is the source of other commitments. However, it is not the case in the novel since marriage is considered as a custom “It is a truth universally acknowledged that a single man in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a wife” (Austen 1). It shows that men get married for other reasons than love. For instance, love can be considered luxury since when one marries for love; most of other needs in life are always met. For example, a husband that loves his wife will always ensure that she has food, clothing, shelter, warmth, and other personal needs. Marrying for financial gains may not be satisfying to the couple including the woman due to an inadequate commitment to issues related to love. The marriage between Charlotte and Mr. Collins may face issues due to lack of love and commitment (Pride and Prejudice and the Idea of Love). Although a husband should ensure that his family has enough financial resources, a woman should not consider money as the main factor to determine a marriage partner. Other psychological needs are achieved due to love that exists between the couple. Lack of love in a family union leads to problems such as many cases of divorce, marital violence, and child abuse among others (Lanchester 12). Without love, it is not possible for a couple to sit and plan for their future and that of their children. Money is important in a family but it should not be a factor to consider when a woman wants to start a family with a man. Although factors such as procreation, financial security, and companionship are important in marriage, love can bring more happiness to a family. Children need attention, and parents have a role to play to ensure that all their physiological needs including love and care are met. In this case, it is wrong for individuals to marry because of money or other material wealth thus there is no excuse for using somebody for monetary gains.
Marrying someone for money is quite selfish since it leads to betrayal, especially when the money diminishes. In Pride and Prejudice, Elizabeth is a character who understands the purpose of marriage and feels that integrity plays a big role in making a decision. For instance, she rejects Darcy’s proposal due to his arrogance (Pride and Prejudice - Chapter 3). She cannot get married for economic gains since there are other important factors to consider such as companionship. Although people need money to survive, getting into a relationship for money can be very disappointing. Companionship and communication should be a major consideration since marriage is about a lifetime relationship with or without money (Galvin, Braithwaite and Bylund). Although a woman may want to live a good life, it should not be at the expense of her companion. If the two are working and earning an income, they should all contribute to the family budget and share responsibility. Having a companion to share ideas, sorrows, and other daily issues is more satisfying than focusing on the amount of money a spouse has. True friendship is necessary for a family union with or without money. It means making a decision to marry due to financial gain is not right since it can be quite disappointing. Elizabeth finally accepts Darcy's proposal, having learned that he is an honorable person and in love with her (Austen 24). She accepts the marriage offer due to love and desire to live with an honest man and not because of his money. Couples entering into a marriage union should strive to be financially independent to support the family. Focusing on their relationship and resolving any issues that arise in their union is more important than focusing on monetary gains. Several other factors may determine the choice of a marriage partner but companionship plays a big role in ensuring that the couple remains united.
It is wrong for people to marry for money since the decision should be based on the desire to share life with someone. The characters in the novel have different opinions about love and marriage, which shape their decisions when choosing a marriage partner. Children need care and bad marriages can destroy kids’ lives and make their future miserable “But she had never felt so strongly as now the disadvantages, which must attend the children of so unsuitable marriage….” (Austen 42). This is an indication that selecting the wrong partner for marriage leads to a dysfunctional family and suffering of the children. Human beings are also social creatures requiring attention from others and living single life may become quite boring. It is a good idea to share happy and sad moments together with loved one since it is quite possible. After enjoying single life for several years, it is right to have a partner and raise a successful family with love and care. Some things such as hanging out with friends lose meaning after some time and an individual has to settle down. However, doing it for money makes life meaningless since it cannot help one to feel complete. Instead, one should focus on getting a partner to share life with and move on further. Focusing on money is like commercializing marriage, which can destroy the couples’ happiness. Mrs. Hill says, “Mrs. Bennet is looking to marry one of the girls to the Reverend Mr. Collins” (Wright Act1 Scene 1). It shows that Mrs. Bennet is interested in wealth and status and not happiness for her children. Marriage is a special stage in life and every person should dream of having a happy marriage. In many communities, it is a tradition that people should get married at one point in their lives and focus on raising a family. As long as couples are committed to sharing the rest of their life together, money should never be a cause for concern. The two can work to provide for the family instead of one trying to rely on the partner for monetary gains. Many times money issues are the cause of disagreements and they should be handled carefully. Societal norms are very important, which shows that money should not be a reason for couples to keep on arguing every time. Marriage helps couples to mature as they develop trust, commitment, and faith making them more responsible. A woman gets emotional security if the relationship is stable due to the man’s commitment to have lifetime partner. Children also find comfort in a family that is not rooted in a desire for money.
In conclusion, marriage should be for life and people should never take vows if they are not in love, if not aiming at having a companion, or not ready to start a family. Marrying for money and other material things as it happens in the novel is not the right choice for couples. Men and women should seek to live a quality life by contributing equally to the financial needs of their family. Some psychological needs are achieved due to love existing between a husband and wife and not because of financial success. Lack of love in a family union can lead to issues such as divorce, marital violence, and child abuse among others. Individuals should not marry for money and wealth but should focus on establishing a happy family. In this case, couples must have a good intention for starting a relationship and settling together. The wife should have some goals of marriage that will allow the family to resist during the turbulences. A goal is anything that one wants to happen, especially in the future. Money is good since it enables people to sustain quality life but it should not be the main factor when one is choosing to marry.

Works Cited

Austen, Jane. Pride and prejudice. Comic'Son 88 Publish, 2017.
Galvin, Kathleen M., Dawn O. Braithwaite, and Carma L. Bylund. Family Communication: Cohesion and Change. Routledge, 2015.
Lanchester, John. How to Speak Money: What the Money People Say-And What it really Means. WW Norton & Company, 2014.
"Pride and Prejudice and the Idea of Love". Teaching English. British Council. BBC, 2017, https://www.teachingenglish.org.uk/article/pride-prejudice-idea-love. Accessed 12 June 2017.
"Pride and Prejudice - Chapter 3". Janeausten.Org, 2017, http://www.janeausten.org/pride-and-prejudice/chapter-3.asp. Accessed 12 June 2017.
Wright, Joe, Director. "Pride and Prejudice". Studiocanal, 2005.

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