Pride and Prejudice- The Moral Perspective
The nineteenth-century novel was often seen as a vehicle for imparting moral truths and social values.
The social values of marriage in Pride and Prejudice
In Austen's time, scandal might prove the death of a reputation or damage one's standing in society. When Lydia elopes with Mr. Wickham, the whole family is in despair. After all, a respectable young lady living sans marriage to a common soldier provides great fodder for gossip. Lydia's reputation is ruined, and any future opportunity for an advantageous alliance is forever closed to the poor girl.
'Smiles decked the face of Mrs. Bennett...her husband looked impenetrably grave; her daughters alarmed, anxious, uneasy.'
'It was not to be supposed that time would give Lydia that embarrassment, from which she had been so wholly free at first.'
Wickham allows himself to be persuaded to marry Lydia in exchange for money, which Mr. Darcy…