Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice amenities on the fighting between marrying for love and marrying for monetary reasons. None of Mr. Bennet's 5 daughters can inherit his estate, so they are compelled into discovering protection in 'good' marriages. Elizabeth Bennet, the critical character, struggles with the societal pressures of marriage and resists Mr. Darcy's advances and proposals. Eventually, however, she finds that she does love him, and for that reason, she decides to marry him.
In the novel, Mr. Darcy makes two proposals to Elizabeth. To his surprise, Elizabeth is offended and harshly declines his first proposal. She accuses him of not being a gentleman and for influencing Jane’s and Bingley’s affair. Darcy subsequently writes Elizabeth a letter during which he explains that he separated the couple largely because he didn't believe Jane returned Bingley’s affection. He also discloses that Wickham, after squandering his inheritance, tried to marry Darcy’s then 15-year-old sister in an effort to realize possession of her fortune. With these revelations, Elizabeth begins to ascertain Darcy in a new light.
Shortly thereafter the youngest Bennet sister, Lydia, elopes with Wickham. The news is met with great alarm by Elizabeth, since the scandalous affair — which is unlikely to finish in marriage — could ruin the reputation of the opposite Bennet sisters. When she tells Darcy, he persuades Wickham to marry Lydia, offering him money. Despite Darcy’s plan to keep his intervention a secret, Elizabeth learns of his actions. At the encouragement of Darcy, Bingley subsequently returns, and he and Jane become engaged.
Finally, only when Darcy overcomes his faults and infatuation and works truly for Elizabeth’s sake can he hope to win her. When he does, also amending the damage he has done, by coaxing Bingley after all to marry Jane, in Chapter 16 of Volume 3 he proposes again.
His concluding offer exposes his beliefs, but not expectations, of being taken, and he admits his pride, with appreciation to Elizabeth for humbling him. He is finally in a position to receive the ‘happiness’ he deserves. This time Elizabeth accepts his offer.
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