In present day, we believe in marriage as a tie between two people in love, and not an act aimed to gain wealth or social standing. However, in the novel, Pride and Prejudice, this was not the case. Many of the characters in the novel married for sake of convenience and advancing their status in society. Throughout the novel we begin to understand the types of marriages that occur, ranging from the pure love, Darcy and Lizzy, to marriages made of convenience and necessity, Mr. and Mrs. Bennets and Charlotte and Mr. Collins.
The first married couple identified are the Bennet s. The marriage of Mr. and Mrs. Bennet was in fact not out of love. In the beginning of the novel it is very noticeable that their behaviors are different towards one another. It seems apparent that they are not really in love with each other. An example of this is when Mrs. Bennet begs with Mr. Bennet to visit Mr. Bingley. The reason being was so that her eligible daughters could form an acquaintance with the rich Mr. Bingley. In response, Mr. Bennet gives the impression that he is busy doing something else and shrugs off his wife s proposal as another childish idea. Throughout the novel Mrs. Bennet is constantly trying to marry off her five daughters, while Mr. Bennet seems to be laid back and careless. Unless his wife is doing something foolish where he can no longer disregard and at that point puts his foot down. There seems to be no true mutual bond between them except for the fact that they want to keep their daughters happy.
The second couple married, not out of love, but for the convenience was Charlotte Lucas and Mr. Collins. Charlotte s reason for marrying Mr. Collins is simply because she knows that he would be able to provide for her the life she wants. Another reason is Charlotte who is twenty-seven years of age, has come to the realization that she might not have the opportunity to marry again. A major concern of Mr. Collins coming to Longbourn, besides collecting the Bennet s family wealth, was to marry. He first proposes to Elizabeth, but she comes to reject his proposal. Wasting no time, he proposes to Charlotte only a few days after proposing to Elizabeth. Charlotte simply desires for a secure life. Being married to Mr. Collins assures her that she will have someone to support and take care of her. With the evidence shown, it is evident that Mr. Collins marriage to Charlotte was purely out of convenience. Mr. Collins and Charlotte s marriage does not give the portrayal of discontent, but gives a gloomy foreshadowing of the future.
The marriage of Jane and Bingley was based primarily on love and attraction. It is noticeable that their feelings are mutual. From the moment they were introduced at the ball, it became obvious that they were destined to fall in love. Later at the ball he states, she is the most beautiful creature I ever beheld! (13). The idea of love that Jane wishes for, is to find someone who loves her and respects her as much as she does him. Another event that foretells their love between one another is when Mrs. Bennet brags about how Jane danced twice with Bingley. Both their affections for each other were straight from the heart, depicting them a picture perfect couple.
Elizabeth and Darcy s marriage seems to be the most accomplished and unpredicted marriages. Throughout the novel, they both felt an attraction. It first becomes a realization to Darcy when, Elizabeth stays at Bingley’s estate. He states to himself how she captivated him, and he is very hesitant to approach her because of her lowliness. Throughout the novel they both try to fight the feelings that they both have, with such instances as the first ball, the constant dialogues with Wickham, advice from siblings and other instances. Lizzy, in a conversation with her father, admits how she truly feels about Darcy, and states that she is in love with him. Between judgments made of Darcy from Lizzy s families and their mistaken assumptions of one another, they still managed put all their prejudices of each other behind and come to the realization that they are in love.
It becomes apparent, that marriage plays a major role in this novel. Throughout the novel there are many important conditions in which a marriages took place. They are composed of things such as love, money, convenience, and necessity. Marriage was a major characteristic, which determines who you are in society. That is a reason why many people of that time married, not out of love but for wealth and necessity. However in the case of the Bennet sisters, they were lucky enough to marry for love and also have the luxury of wealth.