How does Austen prioritise Lizzy and Darcy's relationship at the end of the novel?

This is an essay exploring Jane Austen's favour for a love relationship over one of convenience.

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How does Austen prioritise Lizzie and Darcy's romance at the end of the novel? Suggest reasons
Jane Austen rewards Elizabeth the most in terms of the key themes, wealth and social class, because
of Elizabeth's personal prioritisation of love, shown through her refusal of Darcy's proposal. In his
proposal to Elizabeth, he spends more time emphasizing Elizabeth's lower rank than actually asking
her to marry him, "he was not more eloquent on the subject of tenderness than of pride". Elizabeth
could have married him regardless to secure her safety like Charlotte Lucas but Elizabeth's pride and
prejudice override her regard for wealth and social class. At this point her character has not
developed much. Jane Austen uses Charlotte Lucas to portray the emphasis on social class in their
community and the idea that marriage is for security financially and socially. "Happiness in marriage is
entirely a matter of chance." -Charlotte to Elizabeth. Charlotte contrasts with Elizabeth in putting her
future financial security before love. The character of Miss Bennet also highlights the importance of
marriage for class and wealth at the end of the novel, "how rich and how great you will be!" The use
of punctuation shows the significance of her new found wealth in the 19th century. By using the
garrulous and empty-headed character of Miss Bennet, Austen is portraying her own disregard for
these themes in marriage.
Jane Austen dramatizes different perspectives to the institution of marriage. Austen uses characters
as literary devices to show the readers the juxtaposition between relationships who have married
for love and relationships which have married for alternative reasons. By influencing the readers to
believe that marriage should only be for love we begin to realize that it is this, and only this, which
can enable the characters of the novel to be happy. At one extreme we have the marriages of Lydia
and Charlotte for both of whom "marriage was the pleasantest preservative from want." At the
other extreme we have the marriage of Jane-a romantic one with a fairy tale ending. But it is the
marriage of Darcy and Elizabeth which dramatizes how romance and realism are finally blended in
marriage. Elizabeth's rejection and Darcy's letter of explanation enable both of them to really
understand and respect one another. So, most certainly Elizabeth's rejection of Darcy's first proposal
is central to the structure of the plot and development of Darcy's and Elizabeth's personalities. The
end of the novel portrays the change in their characters and the concept that marriage should be for
love is proved. Jane Austen prioritises Elizabeth's and Darcy's relationship through rewarding them
most. The couple who married for looks, Lydia and Wickham are the least happy, "his affection for
her soon sunk into indifference; hers lasted a little longer. "Those who were prejudiced like Lady
Catherine and Miss Bingley ended up accepting those that they were prejudiced against. Kitty finally
calms down and gains some sense. Jane and Elizabeth are blissfully in marriage. First impressions, in
this novel, are not always correct; as Lydia thought Wickham a wonderful man and Elizabeth thought
Darcy a cold, proud man. Miss Bingley and Lady Catherine thought Elizabeth to be unworthy of their
social status. However, many of these first impressions come full circle in the end. "Nothing is more
deceitful than the appearance of humility."
Jane Austen gives Elizabeth and Darcy the most desirable relationship, for love and lust. The story
revolves around Elizabeth's continued dislike of Darcy and Darcy's growing attraction to Elizabeth.
The marriage between Darcy and Elizabeth reveals the characteristics which constitutes a successful
marriage. One of these characteristics is that love cannot be brought on by appearances, and must
gradually develop between the two people as they get to know one another. Darcy's immediate
opinion of Elizabeth is that she is "tolerable but not handsome enough to tempt me". Mr Darcy was
not remotely attracted to Elizabeth and yet when he learns of her true personality he admits that

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My feelings will not be repressed. You must allow me to tell you how ardently I admire and love
you". From Darcy not being remotely tempted by Elizabeth he grows so passionate for her that he
believes his love is strong enough to spend the rest of his life with her. This proves that he does not
love her for his physical desires towards her but instead, he loves her for her personality.…read more

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Jane Austen is bestowing favour upon them to portray her view that lovers
help each other flower. Although at times family does indeed act as a deterrent; it also accelerates
the union of the two. As, if it were not for the gallant actions of Darcy towards the Lydia-Wickham
affair with his admirable moral code of conduct, Elizabeth's entire family would have faced ruin with
the disgrace of Lydia as a sister.…read more


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