Pride and prejudice is Austin’s great work. Through the discussion of the different marriages and love, the writer demonstrates her concept about love and marriage: love and marriage is closely associated with property and society, however, love and marriage can not only be decided by the property and social status. An ideal marriage should be based on mutual affection and respect. She rejects the marriage based on wealth and stresses the element of emotion in a marriage.
Love; marriage; property; social status
爱情; 婚姻; 金钱; 社会地位
Pride and prejudice the book about commonplace things and ordinary people, is one of Jane Austen’s famous book, being the representative of realistic literature. It portrays, with special sensitive characteristic of female writers, the life and ideas of middle class who live in countryside. This novel makes an analysis of human nature and then stick up readers to think over social relations.
This novel takes young people’s marriage as the thread and it covers the inheritance of fortune, women’s social status, ethics and customs. Being the masterpiece of Jane Austen, it comes to the extensive favor of literary lovers and experts at the same time.
This paper makes an analysis of four marriages in pride and prejudice and discusses the deep outlook for their love and marriage in the light of social back ground at the time.
I. The Background of Austin and Her Pride and Prejudice
A. The Background of Austin
“Jane Austen (1775-1817) was born in Hampshire, a country priest family located in Hants, the village of Kingston, Sidemen in north England. She was a beautiful, talented middle class woman with extraordinary temperament and good cultivation. Her six novels－Sense and Sensibility, Pride and Prejudice, Northanger Abbey, Manshifeierde Manor, Emma, Persuasion all describe more than marriage.”. (Wang Shouren, P64, 2005)
However, her marriage is like a blank paper in her 42 years real lifetime. Going through the finest time, but eventually without meeting a comfortable partner, she gives up her love. Going through the sweet and bitter feeling which helps her to write the great work pride and prejudice.
B. The Background of Pride and Prejudice
In this great book, the author amply demonstrates her point about love and marriage. Therefore, in order to analyze these points of views, we should firstly start from her great work.
“At that time, according to the social conditions in Britain, a good marriage for a young woman was critical. This phenomenon was closely associated with the British society and the status of women in the society. In the 19th century, women were not well respected compared with the ones in the present society. There was no equality between woman and man. Women were considered to be inferior to men in terms of intelligence and capacity. The central life of women was forced to be staying at home, their roles were to deal with the family affairs, such as taking care of the children and serving for the husband.”.(Zhu Hong,P34,1995)
People naturally thought that women should be submissive to their husbands. The virtues of women were patient and deferent. They must recognize their inherent inferiority to men, so they must restrict their abilities without conditions. Although the status of women was slow, few of them expressed dissatisfaction about their own destiny. At that time, many middle-class young women had three solutions: getting married; staying at home as old maids or working as the family female teachers. The income of family female teacher was very low, and the status was low as well. It was very difficult for them to change or swap out of this status, no one would like to be a maid forever, therefore, in terms of young women, especially those who don‘t have enough properties, to get married was the only way for them to gain respect, stability and social status.
Austin fully critiqued some bad phenomenon in her work pride and prejudice, taking some perfect points about marriage and love to demonstrate her own view on love and marriage.
II. The Four Marriages and the Revealed Concept of Love and Marriage in Pride and Prejudice
A. The Concept about Love and Marriage in the Society
The stories show the ordinary lives, feelings of the ordinary people. They were linked up in a harmonious order under the author‘s meticulous concepts. The work mainly describes four marriages. Two are the main