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Like many long-time readers of “Pride and Prejudice,” I’ve returned, again and again, to the problem of Charlotte Lucas.Pretty much everyone in “Pride and Prejudice” gets the spouse they deserve, except for Charlotte.
But I’ve also become more familiar with the importance, in life, of choice.
In a lot of ways, that’s what “Pride and Prejudice” is about: how we make choices.
The Theme of Marriage in Jane Austen's Pride And Prejudice One of the main themes in Pride And Prejudice is marriage.
Throughout the novel, the author describes the various types of marriages and reasons behind them.
For her whole life Charlotte has probably known that she would end up marrying someone like him: a clergyman, probably with some education and the prospect of a growing income in the future.
She’s always known that there wouldn’t be a lot of men to choose from.To Lizzy, and to us, it can seem as though Charlotte has chosen a kind of oblivion, or spiritual suffocation.Charlotte’s life, as Lizzy sees it, will consist entirely of “her home and her housekeeping, her parish and her poultry.” But Lizzy, when she thinks these things, hasn’t thought as carefully as Charlotte has about what “worldly advantage” might mean.Whereas Elizabeth is an idealist who will not marry solely for money, Charlotte, lacking a fortune, finds this opportunity too good to miss. Charlotte accepts his proposal for the pure and disinterested desire of an establishment.I believe that Austen is showing the reader that marrying only for physical appearance is wrong - beauty fades with time. What really compels her to marry him is her thoughtfulness.Charlotte’s been thinking about marriage for years, and she’s developed for herself a code of conduct for marriage, a set of rules that recognize the reality of her situation and direct her toward a solution.I myself talked this way just now, when I said that Charlotte ends up marrying Collins “because she isn’t young, pretty, or rich,” despite the fact that she’s “a sensible, intelligent person.” But that’s actually to misstate, or reverse, Charlotte’s situation.It’s certainly true that she isn’t young, pretty, or rich, and that those facts set the stage for her marriage.Ironically, Mrs Bennet's single-minded pursuit to get her daughters married tends to backfire, as her lack of social graces alienates the very people whom she tries desperately to attract.Austen uses her continually to highlight the necessity of marriage for young women. Bennet also serves as a middle-class counterpoint to such upper-class snobs as Lady Catherine.