Regency Era Of Jane Austen In Pride And Prejudice

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Pride and Prejudice, by Jane Austen, is a skillfully crafted novel dealing with love, comedy, and first impressions. The novel follows the main character, Elizabeth Bennet, and her middle class family living in the regency era of Jane Austen. Elizabeth, unlike her younger sisters, is quite quick-witted but perhaps is too judgmental and relies very heavily on her first impressions of people. Lydia, Elizabeth’s youngest sister, is rather childish and seems to be quite foolish; this is shown when she marries Mr. Wickham. Another important female character is Charlotte Lucas, Elizabeth’s opportunistic friend; she marries Collins after Elizabeth rejects his marriage proposal. Another interesting concept portrayed in the novel is the motivation behind the main characters’ marriages: Elizabeth marries out of love, where as her friend, Charlotte, marries so that she might continue with her lavish lifestyle. Lydia, Elizabeth’s youngest sister, marries out of what she thinks is love but, in fact, out of something more sinister.

Jane Austen is satirizing love and marriage through Mr.Collins. In the middle of the novel, Mr.collins visits the Bennet’s at Netherfield to claim his entailment. He proposes the idea to Mrs.Bennet that if he marries within the family, the money won’t be going to a stranger, and the other sisters are supported. Mrs.Bingley persuaded by Mr.Collins’ comment offers Elizabeth to him dismissing his first choice, Jane since she is going to be married to Mr.Bingley. When Mr.Collins proposes to Elizabeth, she ends up rejecting him. Mr.Collin’s only wanting to find a suitable companion to please Lady Catherine says, “it is by no means certain that another offer of marriage may ever be made you...I must therefore conclude that you are not serious in your rejection of me, I shall choose to attribute it to your wish of increasing my love by suspense, according to the usual practice of elegant females.” (Austen 104). The reason Elizabeth rejects him is because there is no love between them. Even if Mr.Collins increases his love towards Elizabeth, she doesn’t feel the same way. Their marriage wouldn’t be very successful or a happy one since they have nothing in common. All they would end up doing is avoiding each other. Love is the foundation for a good marriage. If they don’t even have the basics down, their marriage is going to crumble. So, if love is emphasized in the marriage, it will end up being happier and stronger.

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Mr.Bingley’s traits of being social and polite influence his views on marriage because he thinks a good marriage will last if he can communicate with his spouse and that he isn’t picky about his spouse’s flaws enhancing his affection for them. When he first meets Jane at the ball in chapter three, he dances with many other women before he meets her, striking up a conversation with them. Not having a strong connection when he talks to them, he moves on to Jane. He had such a strong connection with her and found it very easy to have a conversation that he danced with her twice. “Mr.Bingley thought her quite beautiful and danced with her twice!” (Austen 23). During the entire ball, he is polite with every woman he meets. He even tells Mr.Darcy, “I would not be so fastidious as you are.” (Austen 11) This makes Mrs.Bennet and Jane like him even more because they both know that if Jane is married to Mr.Bingley, he will be okay with the flaws she has and accept them. Mr.Bingley didn’t hang out with the other women at the ball like he did with Jane because he didn’t have that type of affection for them like he did with her. Notice Austen uses 'affection' almost as a synonym for 'love.' We usually think of 'affection' as a pretty mild emotion, it means something stronger for Austen. Towards the end, they end up getting married because they realize that their affection for each other is so strong, that they can’t keep themselves apart contributing to a long lasting marriage.

Mr.Collins and Charlotte Lucas show how depressing a marriage without love is. After being rejected by Elizabeth, Mr.Collins starts to become closer to Charlotte. While they are both at Netherfield, they start to talk to each other and have conversations. Mr.Collins proposes to Charlotte because he is given the order to. Charlotte ends up agreeing to the marriage, and Elizabeth is so shocked when she tells her because she thinks some people lack sense. Charlotte explains that she agreed to it since she is getting older, and most people at her age already have children. Another reason is that the support that Mr.Collins can provide for her is all that she needs, and that he is a decent person. Their marriage together is depressing because the only reason why their marriage is still lasting is because in truth, their marriage is more of a title, then an actual one that comes with all the responsibilities. They mostly avoid each other and that’s how they didn’t argue with each other or fight. If you do put them together in a room and make them converse, they probably would end up not saying anything to each other. This type of marriage with no love is basically not a marriage; it’s a friendship.

In the novel, Pride and Prejudice, by Jane Austen, ideal marriages happen when love is emphasized as the first reason.

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Regency Era Of Jane Austen In Pride And Prejudice. (2022, Jun 16). Edubirdie. Retrieved July 13, 2024, from
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