Discuss in what ways Jane Austen develops the link between marriage and money in Pride and Prejudice.
No doubt, Jane Austen is the queen of human nature. She first observes it minutely and then illustrates it word by word, without the mixture of ambiguity and complexity. In “Pride and Prejudice” marriage is dependent on money and alsothe vice versa. Both these things are totally related to each other. Neither the marriage only nor the money can be considered as the theme of this novel. The starting lines of the novel are enough to define the link between marriage and money, which are:
“A single man in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a wife”
There is no need to spread light on the starting lines of novel, as they are self-explanatory. First of all, the person who is single and at the same time has good fortune, needs a wife but on the other hand if we reverse the said line, labelling it as an ironic statement of Jane Austen, we can consider that Mrs. Bennet wants to marry her daughters to such persons who are the possessor of good wealth. In present situation, Binglay family is the only family, which is presently in the mind of Mrs. Bennet, after their arrival in neighborhood. In this way, whether male or female, if wants to marry, good fortune is the mandatory ingredient for this purpose.
Another connection with these two factors can be seen when Mrs. Bennet wants her daughter to be married with Mr. Collins. The reason behind this marriage is not the attraction of love or friendship but she wants to save wealth of Mr. Bennet. In case, if marriage of Mr. Collins is solemnized with her daughter, the wealth of Mr. Bennet can be alienated to Mr. Collins and thus it will remain in possession of Mr. Bennet as his daughter would be the wife of Mr. Collins.
In the same way, when Mr. Wickham elopes with Lydia, he is the only one Mr. Darcy, who through his financial powers and authority convinces that Mr. Wickham should be married to Lydia in order to save the respect of Bennet family. We are well aware with the fact that the marriage was not solemnized because of love affair but because Mr. Darcy compelled Mr. Wickham to do so. The relationship between marriage and money goes at peak when we realize that not only Mr. Bennet wants her daughter to be marriage with a person who has pecuniary luck but Charlotte Lucas has also the same wish. Although she is not a bad character, nor she is foolish yet it can never be ignore that her first choice was to get marriage with the person who has financial status in the society. Eventually, she marries Mr. Collins because she has no other choice at all.
Apart from above discussion, Mr. Darcy is proud because he is a wealthy person. According to him, Elizabeth is not handsome enough to tempt her. He is of the view that if one is wealthy, he has choice to put finger on any girl of the vicinity and she will ready to become his wife. The link between marriage and money is not only a primary topic of this novel but it is reality of the world that both these issuesare interlinked with each other and can never be separated. On one hand, if Jane Austen proves that money is important ingredient then on the other hand she also tries to prove that money has also its own significance. Thus, the importance of money, especial with regard to marriage, can never be ignored in this novel.
The upshot of the above discussion is that Jane Austen very wickedly has described the connection amid the marriage and money. From start to end of the novel, we cannot deny that marriage is separated from money. If both these are the themes of novel then these can be combine to a single theme, giving them titled of marriage and money.