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  1. #1
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    Pride and Prejudice: does Elizabeth love Darcy for his money?

    I just finished reading Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice for the first time, and, while observing that money was a consideration for all women of that class when thinking about marriage, couldn't help wondering how much it influenced the heroine's seemingly more pure love for Mr Darcy.

    Obviously, Elizabeth is not one of those calculating women who are solely after money since she rejected Darcy when he first proposed; but that isn't to say money had no effect on her.

    I'm interested in your views on the matter. Does Darcy's money have no more influence on Elizabeth other than the bare necessity of security in marriage, or is it the main source of attraction which endears him to her?

  2. #2
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    Re: Pride and Prejudice: does Elizabeth love Darcy for his money?

    Quote Originally Posted by Some0ne View Post
    is it the main source of attraction which endears him to her?
    Yes.

    Not to go off-topic, but every time I hear Jane Austin's name, I'm reminded of an interview I read from salon.com of Alan Moore (writer of V for Vendetta, the Watchmen, From Hell, etc.)

    Salon is bolded. Moore is normal text.

    To shift gears a little, my contention in this article is that it's pretty much undisputed that you're the heavyweight champion of comics, but that you should also be considered among the world's literary greats, up there with Pynchon and DeLillo, because of what you do with language and narrative.

    Well, thank you. That is praise indeed. I'm a huge Thomas Pynchon fan. But, I don't know, it's nothing that I'm really that bothered about. Over here, the literary establishment is still running, as back in the days of Jane Austen, on the novel of manners, which she more or less invented. And, of course, they're about the social intricacies of the middle class, who were also the only people at the time who could read or afford to buy the books. They were also the people who made up the book critics. And I think that, around this time, critics were so delighted by this new form of literature mirroring their own social interactions that they decided that not only was this true literature, but this was the only thing really that could be considered true literature. So all genre fiction, anything that really wasn't a novel of manners in one form or another, was excluded from that definition.

    Do you still find that to be the case?

    I recently saw a program about the history of the novel on TV over here -- it was a short series and it was ridiculous. I predicted before the thing was actually shown that there would be nobody representing any form of genre fiction whatsoever -- and I was, for the most part, right. They managed to get through the 18th and 19th centuries without a mention of, say, the gothic novel. Fair enough, perhaps the gothic novels weren't as extraordinary as literature, but they also didn't mention Mary Shelley's "Frankenstein," which is an incredibly important book for all sorts of reasons. But I guess it has become what they would term genre fiction, so it is amongst the literary damned. My only mistake was that I said I didn't think there would be a mention of H.G. Wells, but my girlfriend told me they did mention "The History of Mr. Polly," which is one of the few works by Wells that I have not been able to get through. To completely ignore "The War of the Worlds," "The Time Machine," "The Invisible Man" and all his other work shows you the way that the literary critical establishment tends to regard even people in so-called lower literary genres. So if you are working in comics, which is considered a whole lower medium, well, let's just say that I'm not anticipating being given the Booker Prize anytime soon -- and I'm immensely glad of that.

    I post this here because I don't feel that Pride and Prejudice is the least bit relevant to our modern lives. It's considered a great work of fiction for the reason Moore detailed: because it was set in the life of the people who bought books and the book critic. It's interesting as a period piece, but in many ways it's as much a genre novel as Wells' Time Machine; that era of history is so alien to us now, it may as well be set on another planet.

    I stated earlier that whats-her-name was after Darcy for his money. Sure, some people will point to the interaction she has with his servant, claim that this evidences how she had him sized up all wrong and now appreciates and legitimately loves him.

    Woopty-CENSORED-do.

    Whether she loves him or is after his coin purse, what does it tell us? What do we get from Pride and Prejudice besides a tale of he-said / she-said miscommunication & Victorian posturing? It's a fairy tale from a time we're now completely divorced from. It's assumed we're going to marry the person we love.

  3. #3
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    Re: Pride and Prejudice: does Elizabeth love Darcy for his money?

    A very good point Zhavric, but it is nonetheless a very nice fairy tale to many.
    However, I think that is off-topic - I did not pose the debate of whether Pride and Prejudice is relevant to our modern lives. If you have no interest in the book and care nothing for the interactions of its characters just ignore this thread.

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    Re: Pride and Prejudice: does Elizabeth love Darcy for his money?

    I post this here because I don't feel that Pride and Prejudice is the least bit relevant to our modern lives. It's considered a great work of fiction for the reason Moore detailed: because it was set in the life of the people who bought books and the book critic. It's interesting as a period piece, but in many ways it's as much a genre novel as Wells' Time Machine; that era of history is so alien to us now, it may as well be set on another planet.
    That's retarded, to put it simply. It involves human interaction in England. Yes, we can't possibly imagine what it must have been like 200 years ago. I guess maybe Huck Finn and Uncle Tom's Cabin are fantasies as well?

    Whether she loves him or is after his coin purse, what does it tell us? What do we get from Pride and Prejudice besides a tale of he-said / she-said miscommunication & Victorian posturing? It's a fairy tale from a time we're now completely divorced from. It's assumed we're going to marry the person we love.
    Wow.


    ...wow.


    It questions what the purpose of marriage is, and what constitutes a stable, successful marriage. Yes, that's so passe because we Modern People quite obviously know what makes a marriage last.

    The "marrying for financial stability" bit takes an unfamiliar route, but the basic premise is the same: marrying for security rather than love. Charlotte's end represents this version of marriage: a loveless marriage between a stodgy wife and an insipid husband (which the wife acknowledges). And Lydia represents the complete opposite: marrying purely for love and rejecting security.

    Simply because our society tends toward Lydia's view doesn't mean that the message is lost on us. In fact, it means that we should pay attention to it all the more.

    And by the way, she OBVIOUSLY didn't want him for his money or she wouldn't have rejected his suit. If she wanted his money, she would have just said "screw the fact that I think he was an ass to Wickham, I want the damn money!"

    But then again, it was set in the past so we can just ignore it, right Zhav?
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  5. #5
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    Re: Pride and Prejudice: does Elizabeth love Darcy for his money?

    Quote Originally Posted by CliveStaples View Post
    That's retarded, to put it simply. It involves human interaction in England. Yes, we can't possibly imagine what it must have been like 200 years ago. I guess maybe Huck Finn and Uncle Tom's Cabin are fantasies as well?
    I'd ask you if you've read Pride & Prejudice, but I know I can't trust you when it comes to what you've read.



    Wow.


    ...wow.


    It questions what the purpose of marriage is, and what constitutes a stable, successful marriage. Yes, that's so passe because we Modern People quite obviously know what makes a marriage last.
    You're talking out of your ass, to put it simply.

    What you quoted refers to the fact women were married off and very rarely married for love. It's a fairy tale where the happily ever after is being arranged to marry the person you love who also happens to be loaded. The book isn't a commentary on what makes marriage last so much as it demonstrates how people deal with the unhappy and unwanted marriages they find themselves in.

    The "marrying for financial stability" bit takes an unfamiliar route, but the basic premise is the same: marrying for security rather than love. Charlotte's end represents this version of marriage: a loveless marriage between a stodgy wife and an insipid husband (which the wife acknowledges). And Lydia represents the complete opposite: marrying purely for love and rejecting security.

    Simply because our society tends toward Lydia's view doesn't mean that the message is lost on us. In fact, it means that we should pay attention to it all the more.

    And by the way, she OBVIOUSLY didn't want him for his money or she wouldn't have rejected his suit. If she wanted his money, she would have just said "screw the fact that I think he was an ass to Wickham, I want the damn money!"
    That, sir, was the gayest thing I've read in weeks.

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    Re: Pride and Prejudice: does Elizabeth love Darcy for his money?

    As to modernity, it's given Darcy has money and a measure of power, we assume he is sufficiently intelligent enough to amuse the average women, how is he between the sheets?

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    Re: Pride and Prejudice: does Elizabeth love Darcy for his money?

    I'd ask you if you've read Pride & Prejudice, but I know I can't trust you when it comes to what you've read.
    ...eh?

    What you quoted refers to the fact women were married off and very rarely married for love. It's a fairy tale where the happily ever after is being arranged to marry the person you love who also happens to be loaded. The book isn't a commentary on what makes marriage last so much as it demonstrates how people deal with the unhappy and unwanted marriages they find themselves in.
    ...what? What book were you reading?

    A few marriages in the book take the form of "unhappy, unwanted" (Charlotte's). Some are unhappy and wanted (Lydia's), some are happy and (originally) unwanted (Elizabeth's) and some are happy AND wanted (Jane's).

    That, sir, was the gayest thing I've read in weeks.

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    What the hell is wrong with you, man? Any time a man talks about making marriage last, he's gay?

    Wow. How old were you when your parents divorced? Do you really hate the idea of marriage that much? You find it so emasculating?
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    Re: Pride and Prejudice: does Elizabeth love Darcy for his money?

    this is one of my favorite books...LOVE it. And I don't read romance books, but, this, this is just classic literature. No, Elizabeth wouldn't have married Darcy just for his money. She needed someone she could talk to, be happy with. She lived in a house with silly sisters, a neurotic mother..and only found solice in Jane and her father. She read constantly, and unlike many women, used her mind. She couldn't have been happy with a dunce. She needed an intellectual, someone she could look up to, not down upon. She also needed someone understanding..on account of her lovely family...someone who wouldn't judge her based on her family's mistakes and lack of noticing them. Darcy proved he could be that man with the way he handled Lydia's marriage. I think she would have married Darcy if he had no money. In fact, she mentions that when she talks to Jane....that she would be happy with a smart man with half of Darcy's fortune. But, she didn't think she would, because she didn't think she was beautiful enough. Money didn't matter.
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  9. #9
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    Re: Pride and Prejudice: does Elizabeth love Darcy for his money?

    SomeOne - P&P has been voted yet again as the UK's fav read.

    To answer your question, first put yourself in the context of that time. Women had problems gaining 'proper' employment. They were seen legally and socially as largely 'appendages' of a paternalist society. So it would seem that 'feisty' as she appeared at times, fiscal security would have figured as a strong contender to romantic idealism. Sorry to make it sound like an answer to an assignment question!
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  10. #10
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    Re: Pride and Prejudice: does Elizabeth love Darcy for his money?

    Quote Originally Posted by CliveStaples View Post
    What the hell is wrong with you, man? Any time a man talks about making marriage last, he's gay?
    No. "Men" who talk that much in defense of Pride & Prejudice do not deserve Eastwood as an avatar. Why don't you go shopping for drapes with Southernbelle? You can talk about P&P and then braid each other's hair...

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    Re: Pride and Prejudice: does Elizabeth love Darcy for his money?

    Quote Originally Posted by Zhavric View Post
    No. "Men" who talk that much in defense of Pride & Prejudice do not deserve Eastwood as an avatar. Why don't you go shopping for drapes with Southernbelle? You can talk about P&P and then braid each other's hair...
    Wow, I've never actually talked to someone from the 17th century. Is it because Pride and Prejudice was written by a woman? Or because it involves love? Or because the main characters are female?

    The dialogue is extremely witty. Better than Wilde, in my opinion. Darcy is a straight-up P.I.M.P., proof that women can write masculine characters and can write them well. Just because there weren't any explosions doesn't mean it was a bad book.
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    Re: Pride and Prejudice: does Elizabeth love Darcy for his money?

    CS - P&P is an early 19th Century novel - first published in 1813 - the narrative is based in the late 18th Century I believe.
    "We don't see things as they are, we see them as we are." - Anais Nin.
    Emitte lucem et veritatem - Send out light and truth.
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    Re: Pride and Prejudice: does Elizabeth love Darcy for his money?

    It doesn't take explosions to make a good book. Understand that P&P is little more than soap opera set in a period. Sure, there's a little bit of commentary about what makes a good marriage, but that's hardly earth shattering. It's not like Mary Shelley's tale of a modern day Prometheus. It's not a Ulysses. The most potent tools Austen has are not-so-subtle social commentary and irony. Nothing more. The only reason it's a "classic"... the only reason people still care about it... is for the reasons Alan Moore stated above. It was a novel set in the life & times of people who bought novels and thus declared it to be "great literature".

    It's little more than soap opera, Clive.

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    Re: Pride and Prejudice: does Elizabeth love Darcy for his money?

    CS - P&P is an early 19th Century novel - first published in 1813 - the narrative is based in the late 18th Century I believe.
    I was referring to Zhav's extremely macho, anti-female criticism.

    It doesn't take explosions to make a good book. Understand that P&P is little more than soap opera set in a period. Sure, there's a little bit of commentary about what makes a good marriage, but that's hardly earth shattering. It's not like Mary Shelley's tale of a modern day Prometheus. It's not a Ulysses. The most potent tools Austen has are not-so-subtle social commentary and irony. Nothing more. The only reason it's a "classic"... the only reason people still care about it... is for the reasons Alan Moore stated above. It was a novel set in the life & times of people who bought novels and thus declared it to be "great literature".

    It's little more than soap opera, Clive.
    And if you think that Pride and Prejudice is soap opera, then you haven't read it.

    It's about class structure, and the difficulties of dealing with them and crossing them. It's about the role of love in marriage; it's about the role that marriage plays in life.

    Ulysses wasn't earth-shattering; it was an action novel. It's in the canon because it presents certain fundamental aspects of storytelling and novel structure.

    What was earth-shattering about, say, Beowulf? What was earth-shattering about A Modest Proposal?

    What makes something classic literature isn't its earth-shatteringness; what makes something classic literature is good storytelling and a good story. It can be a good story about normal people, like Dickens wrote. It can be a good story about amazing people, like Milton wrote. Austen isn't known for her amazing, enthralling plots. She's known for her characters. That's what made her famous. Pride and Prejudice demonstrates her ability to create compelling characters very, very well. THAT'S why it's a classic. I would argue that the novel's message is important, especially in today's society--which is why I took issue with Moore's oversimplied analysis--but that's a separate issue from whether it's good literature.
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    Re: Pride and Prejudice: does Elizabeth love Darcy for his money?

    Quote Originally Posted by CS
    What makes something classic literature isn't its earth-shatteringness; what makes something classic literature is good storytelling and a good story.
    Normally, I'd agree, but we also have to look at who's making the decision. In the case of Jane Austen and her contemporaries, it's as Moore stated: it's considered a "classic" because it was about the life and times of the people buying & writing criticisms of the books. It's over rated, Clive.

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    Re: Pride and Prejudice: does Elizabeth love Darcy for his money?

    Elizabeth wouldn't have married Darcy if he was broke. Plain and simple truth. She's not gonna pull a Lydia. On the other hand, she's not going to marry just for money either. She proved that with both her refusal of Collins and her (initial) rejection of Darcy. Elizabeth needs both love and money. And it's hard to say that one is more important than the other, because they're both non-nonnegotiably necessary.
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    Re: Pride and Prejudice: does Elizabeth love Darcy for his money?

    Why don't you go shopping for drapes with Southernbelle?
    Zhav...what did I ever do to you?


    It's over rated, Clive
    I'll add my two cents, here...I don't think it's overrated, it's a well written, thought out, piece of literature. It's not dripping with romance, so, men can feel comfortable reading it, as proven by all the men replying to this thread, and it's relatable to women. Of all the Austen books I have read, this is my favorite, because it flows so nicely. Some books can be choppy, you know, slow, then reallly good, then slow, and a great ending...this one keeps up a steady pace, and makes for an enjoyable read. It's maintained it's standing through the years, because what was true then, is still true now, although, to a lesser degree. While women don't need men to take care of them financially now, we want an equal, someone we can look up to, and respect. The same that Elizabeth was looking for and found in Darcy.
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