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Jane Austen Case

Autor:   •  November 6, 2012  •  Essay  •  258 Words (2 Pages)  •  602 Views

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What views of marriage and the relationships between men and women does Austen present in the novel?

In Austen's opinion love was of the upmost importance for a good marriage. However, in English society at the time in which this novel is set, love was not the greatest requirement. Rather, wealth and appearance were more greatly thought of as necessities. Throughout the novel, Austen presents several different views towards marriage and the relationships between men and women.

Austen begins the novel by introducing the central plot which is marriage,

‘It is a truth universally acknowledged that a single man in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a wife.'

Austen is using humour here to satirise society, whilst also being ironic. The focus of this line is that a single man ‘must be in want of a wife;' however Austen is also implying that the women may also be in search of a husband, perhaps desperately in search of a husband as women's options were quite limited at this time due to lack of authority or importance within society. Women were dependent upon men, first as a daughter, and then when married they were dependent upon their husbands. The ‘universal truth' was only believed and upheld by those in the middle class, a key representation of this being Mrs Bennett.

Following this sentence, Austen goes on to expand from this by explaining the way in which she thinks men were viewed when it comes to marriage, and explores the relationship between men and women throughout the first chapter,

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