] Today, there are still many issues and even difficulties regarding love and marriage. The first marriage proposal that occurs in “Pride and Prejudice” is that of Mr.
Collins makes no mention of any love for Elizabeth whatsoever and devotes the bulk of his proposal to praise of Lady Catherine. Collins cannot even begin to comprehend why, deluding himself into thinking that “it is usual with young ladies to reject the addresses of the man whom they secretly mean to accept.” The very notion that Elizabeth would reject him is inconceivable to him because Mr.
That being said, Austen is satirising a very serious matter in her society, critiquing the behaviour of the people in her social set. Collins believes that it “does not appear to him that his hand is unworthy of her acceptance.” Although Mr.
Lady Catherine declared: “Are the shades of Pemberley to be thus polluted?
” believing that Darcy marrying someone as “lowly” as Elizabeth would be a disgrace to their family.
Hardy is harsh in his criticism of his society’s views of love and marriage and their place in relation to inflexible Victorian morality; however, Angel cannot take full blame for his actions because he had been steeped in a society, and a family, that had these certain views on marriage.
As with in “Pride and Prejudice”, social class is of an important consideration in marriage.
Tess declares to her mother: “Why didn’t you tell me there were danger in men-folk? ” Tess has been defiled, and she promises herself she will never marry as she views herself as “a figure of Guilt intruding into the haunts of Innocence.” Through Tess, Hardy illustrates the Victorian notion of purity, and the importance of purity in marriage.
This is reflected when Tess later falls in love in Angel, but vows not to marry him, rejecting his advances until he places his “entire happiness and worldly convenience” in her hands and declares himself to be irrevocably in love with her.
Hardy’s allowance of such happiness, however, is short-lived.