Essay

1972. In retrospect, the reader often discovers that the first chapter of a novel or the opening scene of a drama introduces some of the major themes of the work. Write an essay about the opening scene of a drama or the first chapter of a novel in which you explain how it functions in this way.

Expectations

            “It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife”. By the use of this simple sentence, Jane Austen sets off her entire book Pride and Prejudice. In the 17 and 1800’s people were expected to get out and get married once they were off age to a wealthy man or woman in order to settle down and provide for yourself. If you did not have connections or money you usually had a harder time of getting married, for it was not only who had the most money but who had the best connections. If you did not get married you usually stayed with your parents as long as you could, but eventually you had to leave and seek out your own employment in order to support yourself.

          Elizabeth’s mother, Mrs. Bennett, is the mother of five girls all of age to be married. Whenever Mr. Collins, Elizabeth’s cousin, comes for a visit Mrs. Bennett tries to get Elizabeth to marry. Whenever Elizabeth refuses Mr. Collins Mrs. Bennett tell her that if she would simply marry him then they would all be secure in their house and able to stay whenever Mr. Bennett passes away. When Elizabeth accuses her mother of being insensitive to the fact that she would marry her daughters off to any man who had enough money and would offer to do the job, her mother replies, “When you have five daughters Lizzie tell me what else occupies your thoughts and then perhaps you’ll understand.” A while after having refused Mr. Collins Elizabeth gets a visit from her best Charlotte Lucas who tells her that Mr. Collins has proposed to her and that she has accepted his proposal. Elizabeth outraged that her friend would marry without love begins to chastises Charlotte, but is soon stopped by Charlotte who says that if she does not get married soon she will most likely become an old maid and that not everyone can afford to fall in love.

          Jane Austen writes all of her stories with strong independent main characters who do not plan on getting married without love. That, however, turns out to be harder than it looks. Elizabeth Bennett is a woman living in a time and society where love is very rare and compatibility trough connections and money are prominent.The last place she expects to find her true love is in the proud and snobbish Mr. Darcy.

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Posted on May 17, 2011, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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