Knowledge No Better for Marriage?

‘ “Well,” said Charlotte, “I wish Jane success with all my heart; and if she were married to him [Bingley] to-morrow, I should think she had as good a chance of happiness as if she were to be studying his character for a twelvemonth. Happiness in marriage is entirely a matter of chance. If the dispositions of the parties are ever so well known to each other or ever so similar beforehand, it does not advance their felicity in the least. They always continue to grow sufficiently unlike afterwards to have their share of vexation; and it is better to know as little as possible of the defects of the person with whom you are to pass your life.” ’

Says the old maid, I suppose. Perhaps arranged marriage is indeed better than the harbouring of expectation that never can be met. Are we unable to know another’s defects and, uncommitted, choose? Has the rise of romantic marriage made us less able to be civilized and happy, or can we find our way through newer thickets?


One response to “Knowledge No Better for Marriage?

  1. I like this quote from Charlotte as she sensibly states her views towards marriage. Though we must consider as to why Charlotte said what she said. In Jane Austen’s period, women were expected to marry in an early age. Charlotte is at a stage where the chances of her getting married are minimized due to her age and social status, which leads to a conclusion that Charlotte is eager, desperate even to get married.

    Charlotte does not mind whether or not the person whom she is to marry is someone she loves, as long as she gets married and make the people around her (i.e parents) happy.

    Personally, I do not believe in arranged marriage. Marriage is for couples who are ready to commit to one another. How could we determine whether or not we want to be committed towards another when we are unfamiliar with them? You get into a relationship with someone because you are attracted to their physical, mainly emotional qualities. You do not get into a relationship with someone because a friend/ someone else told you to, so why agree to an arranged marriage?


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