Writing Workshop P2D2 Kevin Shan Who will be happy In the novel

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Writing Workshop P2D2 Kevin Shan Who will be happy In the novel Powered By Docstoc
					                                                                       Writing Workshop
                                                                             Kevin Shan
                                   Who will be happy

      In the novel Pride and Prejudice, four couples are finally made - Elizabeth and

Mr. Darcy, Jane and Mr. Bingley, Miss Lucas and Mr. Collins, Lydia and Mr.

Wickham. These couples, however, are not made arbitrarily. They come together

because they are looking for something, such as property, appearance, or

characteristics, and deem they can find it in their mates. However, some find what

they want in their mates, while some do not. This difference, along with the

characteristics of the couples, decides whether the marriage would be happy or not.

      Lydia and Mr. Wickham’s marriage is doomed to be a disaster, because neither

do they find in their mates what they want, nor can their characteristics bring them a

happy marriage. From their sudden elopement, it reveals that Mr. Wickham wants

money, which Lydia cannot give him. Lydia does not marry for some special concerns.

She just marries for the sake of marrying, fancying herself as the first bride in her

family. She marries to show off, to fulfill her vanity. However, Mr. Wickham, whose

reputation is notorious, is not an admirable mate. If people do not admire her

marrying Mr. Wickham, Lydia’s vanity will be hurt. Lydia’s dream, therefore, of

everyone being jealous of her, will not be realized. Moreover, their characteristics will

by no means contribute to a happy marriage. Lydia’s attention always jumps from one

officer to another, so she will soon feel bored of Mr. Wickham and go to look for

another handsome officer. She is capricious, chaotic, and always happy. However, Mr.

Wickham, a highly sophisticated hypercritic, can hardly be infected by Lydia’s
childish and vulgar happiness.

      As for Miss Lucas and Mr. Collins, although they find in their mates what they

want, they will not live a very happy life because of their characteristics, especially

Mr. Collins’s. From Miss Lucas immediate acceptance of the proposal by Mr. Collins,

it is easy to see that she does not truly love him; she only wants a comfortable home.

Her expectation of a stable establishment is achieved, but her characteristics deprive

her of the most intense pleasure of marriage: true love. She is not so romantic like

Elizabeth, so she dares not to pursue a marriage based on true love. This

conservativeness will bring her a peaceful life, not a happy one. Mr. Collins, on the

other hand, only proposes to Miss Lucas to fulfill his self-importance. How could a

man of my consequence and fortune have no wife? His expectation of owning a wife

is also fulfilled. However, a mixture of servitude and self-conceit, Mr. Collins always

pretends to be perfectly satisfied while he is not. His daily duty is to perform, an

exhausting labor with little payment. He is happy only when he feeds his

self-importance with flatteries by himself or others. However, Miss Lucas does not

seem to be a dedicated flatterer.

      Jane and Mr. Bingley’s situation is similar from that of Miss Lucas and Mr.

Collins: they find what they look for in their mates, but they are not likely to live a

happy life because of their characteristics. Jane finds the handsome and civil young

man she adores, and Bingley finds the beautiful and angelic lady he loves. Jane is

angelic, but at the same time she is reserved and acts with scrupulous discretion. Mr.

Bingley, similarly, is diffident in his own judgment and needs Mr. Darcy to help him
make decisions. What could happen when a man of poor judgment and a woman of

reserved manner come together? They will suffer from the lack of leadership when

they are facing some troublesome or dangerous situations in the future. Although

there will be little conflict between them, they will only live their life peacefully

because of their complying dispositions, without intense happiness.

     Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy’s marriage is the most promising, since they not only find

their ideal mates, they also have complementary characters. Elizabeth seeks for

independence and freedom in his marriage. She dares to confront the noble Lady

Catherine and to despise her definition of a proper marriage. She said that ‘… to act in

that manner…constitute my happiness.’1 This is a troublesome desire in that age,

when women are expected to behave civilly and obediently. However, Mr. Darcy’s

generosity will definitely satisfy Elizabeth. Mr. Darcy, from his definition of

‘accomplished woman’, expects his mate to read extensively to improve her mind.

This task will be easily accepted by Elizabeth, who highly valued critical thinking and

rationality. Besides the fulfillments of their expectations, Mr. Darcy’s knowledge and

thoughtfulness will help Elizabeth improve her mind, while Elizabeth’s liveliness and

playfulness will also help to soften the grave and solemn Mr. Darcy. Mr. Darcy’s

steadiness in love, which does not change even after Elizabeth rudely refused him,

will helps to secure the lively Elizabeth. The attachment between them, unlike that

between Lydia and Wickham, will last long.

            Hence the four couples start their lives. However, not all of them will live like

prince and princess in fairy tales. Only with steady attachment and complementary

characters, could the happiness of a couple last eternally. Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy

should be congratulated, since they are the lucky couple who will possibly live the

happiest life among all.

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