That was not an age of information technology. Even things like electricity, radio, and typewriters were not much known or used. Firstly, there were scarcity of employment opportunities and even those that were available were kept mostly for the male section of the society. The only respectable paid job open to a gentlewoman, i. of the section to which the Bennet family belonged, was the job of a lady companion or of a governess. Even that was not a high paying job. For most part, a woman could not acquire money on her own without inheriting or marrying a person with good fortune. If a woman did not get married, she usually was to stay with her parents and add burden to them economically. In this context, one may recollect the words that Mrs Bennet said to Elizabeth - "If you go on refusing every offer of marriage, you will never get a husband -- and I am sure I do not know who is to maintain you when your father is dead." (Austen, 173) It would be difficult for both the girl as well as her family. Also, the parents of the bride usually had to pay dowry to their daughters. So, economic stakes turned out to be an important factor in marriage. As Colonel Fitzwilliam admits "there are not many in my rank of life who can afford to marry without some attention to money.." (Austen, 197) So instead of true love and commitment, many marriages were done on the basis of finding an economic shelter.Marriage, which is considered as a holy alliance, was done mostly by keeping in mind material aspects such as physical beauty and social and economic stability in mind. Not surprisingly, many marriages were. Marriage As A Popular Theme.
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