Charlotte Lucas’ and Elizabeth Bennet’s discussion in chapter six reveals their feelings on how Jane should act towards Mr. Bingley, their feelings on marriage in general, and also foreshadows Charlotte’s marriage. While, Charlotte’s view reflects the ideas about marriage of the majority of the characters in this novel, Elizabeth feels very differently. In addition, Charlotte’s ideas show us why she will eventually come to marry Mr.
Collins. In all, Elizabeth’s argument is much more reasonable, and would insure Jane a much more sensible marriage if she listened to her. In contrast, Charlotte most likely only believes what she says because it is an accepted way for a woman to insure her financial and social life. Charlotte argues that they should encourage Jane to be more outgoing in respect to her feelings for Mr. Bingley.
She argues that if Jane does not show more emotion towards Bingley and continues to hide her feelings of love, .”.. she may lose the opportunity of fixing him… .” (p. 18) She also says that if Jane and Bingley spend a little more time together, alone, and are pushed to show great emotion towards each other, they will realize that they want to get married. Charlotte believes that this is not a difficult task, and that it should only take 4 evenings together before they decide to marry.
Charlotte also says that it is unnecessary for them to spend too much time together before deciding to marry, because “Happiness in marriage is entirely a matter of chance.” (p. 19) According to Charlotte, Jane should not try to find Bingley’s faults, because it is enough to marry someone with a good amount of money. Charlotte sees marriage as a way of securing one’s financial stability, and believes that one should not think too hard about marrying someone if he is wealthy. Elizabeth, on the other hand, does not think that Jane should change her habits at all.
... ... .' (p. 39). Even good-natured Jane, Elizabeth " sister, has something to say about Charlotte's marriage to Mr. Collins. Jane argues that Mr. Collins is ... little expectation for Charlotte's marrying well. While Mrs. Be nett is speaking to Mr. Bingley the subject of Charlotte Lucas comes up and ...
Elizabeth argues that Jane is showing her admiration, and that Mr. Bingley should be smart enough to perceive it. She does not believe that they should encourage Jane to show more emotion if she does not want to. In fact, she argues that showing more emotion than Jane really feels would be a good idea if Jane were determined to marry for money, but says that .”.. these are not Jane’s feelings; she is not acting by design.” In other words, Jane does not feel compelled to find a husband simply for his wealth, as Charlotte does.
Elizabeth believes that Jane should spend more time with Mr. Bingley, but only if she truly loves him should she seek marriage. She argues that two weeks is not enough time to decide if one is ready to spend the rest of his or her life with someone else. It is clear from the rest of the novel that most of the characters would agree with Charlotte. In fact, Mrs. Bennet seems to have one purpose in life; to marry her daughters to the most prominent people she can find, as soon as she can find them.
However, from a modern view, it appears that Elizabeth’s perspective is much more logical. While some people still marry solely for money in this day and age, most people try to find someone whom they truly love so they can have a happy life together. Even though Charlotte’s argument seems very silly to the modern reader, it is much more appropriate to the time period and setting of this novel in which women had fewer opportunities. Today, women have large and important roles in the work force.
However, around the turn of the 19 th century, there were very few opportunities for women to work for a living. Therefore, it would be much harder for a woman of Jane’s background to marry a working-class man or a soldier who had to work for his living. If Jane did, she would probably have to humble herself to providing maid services (or some other profession not deemed fit for a woman of her background) to others, since it would be virtually impossible to live on her husband’s working-class salary (which would probably be very small since it was the age of monopolies).
... , economically, upon a husband" (Casler, 1974, p. 30). Late marrying women indicated that careers took relative precedence over marriage during the ... underwent a particularly rebellious and dramatic shift when women entered the work force. "People don't have to stay married because ... postponing marriage means an increase, at any given time, in the number of people who have never wed, and that is ...
Jane would probably be the happiest if she married one of the first wealthy playboys who came to call on her. Even if it was not someone she particularly cared for (and it is doubtful she would find someone since most of the wealthy men in this novel are less than agreeable), she would still be content.
It is fairly obvious that Mrs. Bennet and her husband do not get along; he tries to spend as much time away from her as he can. However, Mrs. Bennet is still a happy woman because she is content to go to parties and mingle with other people. Also Mrs. Bennet likes to have plenty of time to marry off her daughters so that they may have the same life that she has.
Therefore, in this situation and time period, Jane should follow Charlotte’s advice and try to show more emotion for Mr. Bingley, even if it is not completely sincere, and marry him as soon as possible.