Little Love in Pride and Prejudice

Little Love in Pride and Prejudice

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Little Love in Pride and Prejudice


      In Pride and Predjuice life is not all fun and games.  There are many

pressures in life:  mothers with high expectations for a good marriage and a

girl's own expectation of what life and hopefully marriage will be like.

Charlotte Lucas is the oldest daughter in a large family, she is not the most

beautiful girl, and she is twenty-seven, well beyond the marrying age.

Charlotte is Elizabeth Bennett's best friend and Mr. Collins, the man Charlotte

finally marries, is Elizabeth's cousin.  Charlotte Lucas will marry to solidify

her life, not because she loves, for many people are unkind about her ability to

marry well; thus after her marriage to Mr. Collins, she spends all of her time

avoiding him.

 

      Charlotte knows  that even though she wants to marry more than anything

in the world, she does not expect love to come about; thus, she decides that it

is probably even better if you don't know a thing at all about the person you

are marrying.  While Charlotte is speaking to Elizabeth about her sister, she

expressed her opinion as to Jane Bennet's relationship towards a gentleman.  She

says it is probably better not to study a person because you would probably know

as much after twelve months as if she married him the next day.  Charlotte even

goes as far as to say that "it is better to know as little as possible of the

defects of the person with whom you are to pass your life" (p.21). Charlotte

considered Mr. Collins "neither sensible nor agreeable" but since marriage had

always been her goal in life, "at the age of twenty-seven, with having never

been handsome, she felt all the good luck of it" (p.107).  Charlotte is

speaking to Elizabeth on her marriage to Mr. Collins, "I am not romantic, you

know.  I never was.  I ask only a comfortable home; and considering Mr. Collins'

character, connections, and situation in life, I am convinced that my chance of

happiness with him is as fair as most people can boast on entering the marriage

state" (p.110).  Charlotte is optimistic in entering her marriage even though

Elizabeth is not.

 

      The people associated with Charlotte, even her dear friends, have little

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expectation for Charlotte's marrying well.  While Mrs. Benett is speaking to Mr.

Bingley the subject of Charlotte Lucas comes up and Mrs. Bennet can not help but

to comment about Charlotte's beauty, "...but you must own she is very plain.

Lady Lucas has often said so..." (p.39).  Even good-natured Jane, Elizabeth's

sister, has something to say about Charlotte's marriage to Mr. Collins.  Jane

argues that Mr. Collins is respectable and that Charlotte is from a large family

and is not exceptionally wealthy.  She also states that Charlotte, "may feel

something like regard and esteem for our cousin" (p.117).  Elizabeth taking the

opposite point of view on the issue says, "Mr. Collins is a conceited, pompous,

narrow-minded, silly man;" then continued to list reasons as to why, "the woman

who marries him [Mr. Collins] cannot have a proper way of thinking" (p. 117).

 

      Charlotte, having gone into her marriage with Mr. Collins with her eyes

open, puts most of her energy into avoiding her husband.  Charlotte finding

herself now having to deal with her husband makes her quarters in the lesser

part of their house, leaving the more attractive part to her husband so he will

spend more time there (p. 144).  Also, Charlotte and Mr. Collins take walks

every morning, which Charlotte walked considerably fast in order to leave Mr.

Collins to every view, "with a minuteness which left beauty entirely behind"

(p.134).  Elizabeth, while visiting Charlotte, observed another way in which

Carlotte tolerated her husband, her observation was, "Her home and her

housekeeping, her parish and her poultry, and all their dependent concerns, have

not yet lost their charms" (p.183).

 

     Charlotte neither being pretty nor wealthy has compensated for her

husband's annoying traits in many ways.  In a time when most girl's goals were

to get married, Charlotte achieved her goals.  Even though she may not love

her husband, she is happy because she will not be a spinster.

 

Work Cited

 

Austen, Jane. Pride and Prejudice. Toronto : Penguin Books, 1972.
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