Points to be used with the above material: “It is a truth universally accepted that a single man in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a wife.” The opening line of the novel can be taken as the theme sentence of each of her six novels. Give a summary.
Marriage – an important social and economic concern: Marriage was an important social concern in her time and she knew the disadvantages of being single. Charlotte Lucas giving the reasons for the acceptance of Collins, says, “I am not romantic you know.I never was. I ask only a comfortable home, considering Mr. Collins’ character, connections and situations in life, I am convinced that my chance of happiness with him is as fair, as most people can boast on entering the marriage state”. An unmarried woman could only take care of other children as Jane herself did as there were no other provisions for them in industry, commerce and business. P&P dramatizes the economic inequality of the women of the time. Marriage was the only occupation available to women in Jane Austen’s time.
Importance of Correct Judgment: There are seven marriages in P&P all of which showed the requirement of a good and bad marriage. Marriage should be based on correct judgment. Marriage is not treated as a romantic end here; rather it is dealt with a depth, variety and seriousness to highlight good marriages based on mutual understanding, love, good sense and respect.