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Views on Female Marriages in Pride and Prejudice and Jane Eyre

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Views On Female Marriages in Pride and Prejudice and Jane Eyre

ўс. Introduction

There were two great novels about love and marriage coming into being in the 19th century ---- Pride and Prejudice and Jane Eyre, which were written by Jane Austen and Charlotte Bronte. The two books give us two womenЎЇs totally different concepts of love.

1.1 The main content and background of Pride and Prejudice

Pride and Prejudice is actually a love comedy, which is filled with intelligence and humor. The first sentence of the first chapter has already made the comedic tone of the whole novel:

Ў°IT IS A TRUTH universally acknowledged that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife.Ў±

As a matter of fact, the whole novel is based on this Ў°universally acknowledged truthЎ±. When the Bennets are worried about the marriage of their five daughters, Ў°single men in possession of a good fortuneЎ± ---- Mr. Bingley and Mr. Darcy have come, which gives them the hope. However, the hope has soon been broken. The stupid one, Mrs. Bennet has been rattling off a list of complaints on Mr. Bingley. Then, a dramatic scene appears. The arrogant Mr. Darcy sends his love message to Elizabeth, the second daughter of the Bennet family, but she treats him with her prejudice and refuses his courtship. The matter has been in trouble again. After various theatrical occurrences, the story finally ends with comedy. Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy become a blest pair and Mr. Bingley and Jane, the eldest daughter also get married.

Pride and Prejudice shows us the common peopleЎЇs lives and ideas in the villages and towns in England under the state of occlusive society in the early 19th century. This novel, like a painting expressing social amorous feelings, not only had a great attraction to the readers at that time, but also gives us a particular joy of art while reading it nowadays.

1.2 The main content and background of Jane Eyre

Jane Eyre could be regarded as a half-autobiography of Bronte. The heroine, Jane Eyre, is an unlovely and runty woman but with strong sensitive self-esteem. Jane lives in an environment of no parents and depends on her aunt Mrs. Reed for living. Her aunt dislikes her; her cousins look down upon her. However, all these sufferings cannot defeat her infinite confidence and adamancy. Two years after graduation, she finds a job of governess in Thornfield Hall. She falls in love with the owner of the hall, Mr. Rochester. On the day they get married, Jane comes to know that Mr. Rochester has a mad wife in the attic kept as a prisoner. Jane is heartbroken and leaves Thornfield. Afterwards, St. John, who helps Jane a lot, proposes to Jane, not because he loves her, but he needs an assistant with literacy. Nevertheless, Jane decides to go back to Mr. Rochester. As soon as she arrives at Thornfield, she finds the hall has already been burnt and Mr. Rochester becomes blind due to the fire lit by Bertha. Jane expresses her love to Mr. Rochester and finally they get married and live a happy life.

Charlotte Bronte wrote four novels in total: The Professor (1847), Shirley (1849), Villette (1853), and Jane Eyre (1874), among which Jane Eyre was the most successful one. Through the description of the loneliness and struggle of penniless bourgeois, the writer deeply exposed the flesh and blood of the society at that time in England, showing her sympathy to the destiny of the ordinary people. ItЎЇs a triumphant production reflecting the living condition and spirit of the women under great pressure.

1.3 The aim of the thesis

This thesis is going to compare the marriage in both novels. As we all know, both of the writers lived in the same period in which bourgeois developed rapidly. We can see so clearly that the two women have obvious different views of marriage. So it is meaningful for the author to make a research in the differences in both novels.

Jane Austen wants to show us that true love should be with a financial foundation, otherwise the marriage wouldnЎЇt be happy enough, and she also sticks to the steady faith of love. On the other hand, Charlotte Bronte gives us her idea of true love: however he/she is, even he/she is incapable or poor, as long as they love each other, the marriage will be happy.

ўт. Different ideas of love in the two novels

In Pride and Prejudice, through five Bennets daughtersЎЇ different experiences, Jane Austen shows the different attitudes towards the problem of love and marriage of the girls born in a bourgeois family in villages and towns, which reflects her ideas

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