28 Aug 2020

Pride and Prejudice Theme of Love and Marriage in Jane Austen Novels


Love and Marriage in pride and Prejudice


Jane Austen is one of the greatest novelists of the 19th century. Among her six full length novels, “Pride and Prejudice” is the most popular novel. Jane Austen all novels revolve around the theme of love and marriage. Jane Austen is not in favour of illicit love. She is of the view that love must terminate in matrimony and for a successful marriage, mutual compatibility is essential.


In this novel Austen tells how women had to marry undesirable mates to gain economic equality and social security. At that time a single women had no other choice except to look after other else children and Austen herself did it. In this novel, Austen, through five marriages tells the good and bad reasons of marriage.


The opening lines of the novel reveals the theme of love and marriage. “It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife”.


This novel tells that all the heroines of the novel are in find of wealthy and successful husbands for social status and security.


Mr. & Mrs. Bennet campaign of husband hunting is the major drive of the novel. The arrival of Bingley and Darcy offers a suitable atmosphere of husband hunting drive. Mrs. Bennet measures the matrimonial game with wealth. So she thinks wisely that Bingley is a suitable match for her daughter Jane. For Austen nature and temperament are inevitable essentials for a happy marriage.


Marriage is both an intellectual and emotional companionship between a husband and a wife. A marriage without these components is not a real marriage.


The main as well as all the three sub-plots of the novel go round the center of love and marriage. In the main plot Elizabeth and Darcy come close in spite of all their previous differences. There is another love story of Jane and Bingley who are also united in marriage despite certain differences.


The main marriage of Mr. and Mrs. Bennet is not a good match. They are a pole apart in their attitude. Mr. Bennet is sharp and witty while Mrs. Bennet is vulgar and discreet. They form a ill matched couple.


Darcy helps and the marriage of Lydia and Wickham takes place. The love between Lydia and Wickham is not reciprocal. Lydia loves Wickham but the later does not love her. To humiliate The Bennet, he runs away with Lydia.


The third sub-plots comprises marriage of Mr. Collin with Charlotte. Their love is blank, both the couple do not show any feelings of love. This marriage and love is the representative of common love and marriage which often takes place round the world.


Thus we can say that Jane Austen s’ Pride and Prejudice deals with the theme of marriage and love and the theme has a universal appeal.

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