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浅议《傲慢与偏见》中宾利和简的婚姻

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Abstract:This article generally analyses the marriage of Bingley and Jane. The author thinks that Bingley and Jane have many similarities in their characters, which lead them to a successful marriage although they all lack strength in their marriage. The author also points out that Bingley and Jane married for love, not for the money, status or good looks. So the combination of them is really a blessed and happy marriage.
Key words:Marriage,Love,Interests,happy
Content
Jane Austen (1775-1817), who was born at Steventon on December 16, 1775, was one of the greatest novelists in England. She was the youngest of seven children in her family. She received most of her education at home. Her family are all fond of reading books, which influenced her very much. Her reading extended little beyond the literature of the eighteenth century, and within that period she admired Dr. Johnson particularly. And later she was delighted with both the poetry and prose of Scott. She died on July 18, 1817, and was buried in the cathedral in Winchester. She totally wrote six novels in her life. Among the six novels, Pride and Prejudice has been valued as the most successful and popular masterpiece. In this novel, Jane Austen mainly described the ordinary life of the Bennets . She   told us four different marriages to show the readers that different people have different attitudes towards love. And also she expressed her own viewpoints on marriage that a combination based on love and similar interests is a happy and perfect marriage. In her opinion, the money-oriented marriage and sex-oriented marriage are not successful although the people can live together. The theme is narrow, but she showed us a beautiful tableau of the England people’s life of her own time. It seems that she had a talent to describe the ordinary life of people.
“Read again, and for the third time at least, Miss Austen's very finely written novel of Pride and Prejudice. That young lady has a talent for describing the involvements and feelings and characters of ordinary life which is to me the most wonderful I ever met with.”1
Because of the lack of her experiences and knowledge, the characters in Pride and Prejudice are all of her own social class: The ladies and gentlemen of the landed gentry. And also, in every conversation, there was at least one lady.
“The conversations of ladies with ladies, or of ladies and gentlemen together, are given, but no instance occurs of a scene in which men only are present.”2
Most parts of the story are the intricacies of courtships and marriages between the members of her class, which are great attraction to many readers.
Among all the marriages in this novel, the combination of pleasant Bingley and mild Jane is the most blessed and happy one. The couple has similar interests and they insisted on pursuing their true love, which lead them to a happy and perfect marriage.
Mr. Bingley was a good looking and gentlemanlike person whose revenues were about 5,000 pounds a year. As a young man who had good breeding, he was cordial and simple with easily-led disposition. With this character, he never appeared dissatisfied. He was easy to approach and constant in love although he was very rich. However, he lacked strength and independence in his marriage, which was a grievous defect of him. In the novel, Bingley was popular with almost everybody in everywhere. He had a pleasant countenance and easy unaffected manners. It is easy to find that he was agreeable both in appearance and character. The first appearance of Bingley was the time when he “returned Mr. Benner’s visit, and sat about ten minutes with him in his library.”3But the exact time when the readers began to know him was some days later. At the first ball at Netherfield, he was shown to everybody and the readers began to make acquaintance of his personality through his behavior.
“ Mr. Bingley had soon made himself acquainted with all the principal people in the room; he was lively and unreserved, danced every dance, was angry that the ball closed so early, and talked of giving one himself at Netherfield. Such amiable qualities must speak for themselves.”4
Of course these personal strength won Jane’s admiration. She thought that he was just what a young man ought to be. In her eyes, Mr. Bingley was a sensible, good-humored, lively young man. And she had never seen anyone who had so many advantages with perfect good breeding! He was just her Mr. Right! At that ball,
“Bingley’s attentions to Jane had given rise to a general expectation of their marriage. He spoke of it as a certain event, of which the time alone could be undecided.”5
Mr. Bingley also noticed Jane at that night. He fell in love with Jane at their first ball and their romance flourished quietly and steadily. His affection towards Jane was obviously sincere andunaffected. It was obvious that when Jane suffered a trifling cold, he was worried about her. His anxiety and attention to her was evident. For example, when Elizabeth said that she couldn’t leave her sister because Jane’s illness was worse, “Bingley urged Mr. Jones’s being sent for immediately.”6 and “Bingley was quite uncomfortable.”7 The following sentences also are the evidences:
“ but diffuseness and warmth remained for Bingley’s salutation. He was full of joy and attention. The first half hour was spent in piling up the fire, lest she should suffer from the change of room; and she removed at his desire to the other side of the fire-place, that she might be farther from the door. He then sat down by her, and talked scarcely to anyone else.”8
It is not difficult for the readers to find Bingley’s real concern and affection towards Jane from these details. He was cordial and constant in his love.
As a pleasant and modest person, Mr. Bingley was far from the man who was strong and determined. This is his merit but also his demerit. His cordial and simple character leads to his quiet romance with Jane. But his weak and easily-led character leads to his parting with Jane. So when their romance went smoothly, he suddenly departed from Jane, which nearly ends his happy love and marriage.
Generally speaking, his departure from Jane was caused by the relationship between him and Darcy. They were good friends although they were different in character. Between them there was a very steady and constant friendship. Bingley was endeared to Darcy by the easiness, openness and ductility of his temper. It is no doubt for Darcy that Bingley had the firmest reliance. For Darcy, he wanted to help his friend. In his opinion, it is impossible for Jane to love Bingley. So he persuaded Bingley not to take Jane in marriage. This point can be found from his letter to Elizabeth:
“Her (Jane) look and manners were open, cheerful, and engaging as ever, but without any symptom of peculiar regard, and I remained convinced from the evening’s scrutiny, that though she received his attentions with pleasure, she did not invite them by any participation of sentiment.” 9

For Bingley, he had an easily-led temper. He was so modest and pliable that he had no opinion about his own marriage. No matter how obvious his attachment to Jane was, he believed Darcy’s representation of Jane’s indifference was true. Because Mr. Bingley’s two sisters didn’t like Jane, they thought Mr. Bingley should choose Georgiana(Darcy’s sister) as his wife. So they also disagree with Bingley about his marriage with Jane. Under the influences of his sisters and Mr. Darcy, Bingley began to doubt Jane’s affection to him. Finally, he thought Jane didn’t love him, so he left her without saying good-bye. Later, when all the misunderstandings clarified, he came back to Jane at Darcy’s assistance. Bingley’s indecisive character determines his happiness and results that his life was controlled by others.
Jane was the first children in her family. She was a kind and mild girl who was the most beautiful one among her sisters. As an introverted girl, she is constant in her love but lacks strength and self-confidence. She didn’t want others to know her love to Mr. Bingley, so she pretended that she had nothing to do with him. Compared with other girls, she was the most mild, kind, modest and almost perfect girl in this novel. Sometimes she was a little innocent. In her eyes, everybody is perfect. She never saw the ugly fact of life even she was deceived. Her character is vividly showed in many parts of the novel. “Compliments always take you (Jane) by surprise, and me (Elizabeth) never”10 and
“Oh, You (Jane) are a great deal too apt you know, to like people in general, you never see a fault in anybody, all the world are too good and agreeable in your eyes. I (Elizabeth) never heard you speak ill of a human being in my life.” 11
According to this, readers can find that how kind and innocent Jane was. And also it is quite natural for Jane to fall in love with the pleasant and simple Bingley. She met him at the ball, and after then, she adored Bingley very much. But with her introverted and tranquil disposition, Jane controlled her passion too much, which nearly consumed her felicity. Although she loved Mr. Bingley after the ball, she had no courage to express it. She cherished her feelings towards him, but she chose to conceal it. She didn’t display her true feelings. On the contrary, she controlled her passion to the best of her ability, lest anyone find it. She only showed genteel pleasure and politeness although her heart was fluttering with romantic passion. In a sense, her attitude towards love was passive. 
According to the above, Darcy thought that though Jane was pleased with Bingley, she didn’t love him. He thought Jane’s
“countenance and air was such as might have given the most acute observer a conviction that, however amiable her temper, her heart was not likely to be easily touched.”12
In his eyes, Bingley was involved in an unavailable love. So after then, he made great efforts to separate Bingley from Jane.  
After Bingley’s departure, Jane suffered great distress. She was very depressed. But because of the defect of her character, she pretended to be all right and said nothing about her sadness. Here, readers can find that her weakness and obedience had been thoroughly exposed.
In the novel, Bingley and Jane never stopped pursuing their true love although there were so many obstacles between them. Fortunately, with the help of Darcy and Elizabeth, they finally got married and had a happy life. Bingley and Jane had many similarities in their characters, which is the main reason to the success of their marriage. They possessed personal attractiveness and dignity, social graces, and a measure of good sense. They all had good breeding, but lacked insight, strength, and self-confidence. They didn’t show their insides easily to the publics because they cared the social criticism too much. For Jane, she always concealed her true feelings, which gave others a illusion that she didn’t love Bingley. For Bingley, he yielded easily to criticism of Jane’s social position and easily accepted the suggestions of his sisters and Darcy, which almost consumed the felicity between Jane and him. In manner of speaking, the outside forces facilitated their marriage.
According to the relationship between Bingley and Jane, love and similar interests are the basic factors of a successful and happy marriage. With many similarities in character, people can understand each other easily. Most important of all, the couple with similar interests can live together with a happy life, because there are understandings, helps and supporting between them. They don’t care the defects of their partners and even they don’t see any faults in each other. Just as the old saying going, “Birds of a feather flock together, people of a mind fill into the same group.”
Notes
1. Walter Scott, "The Journal of Sir Walter Scott," March, 1826.
2. W. F. Pollock, "Fraser's Magazine," January, 1860
3. Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice, (Hohhot: Inner Mongolia People’s Press, 2002) 10.
4. Ibid. 12.
5. Ibid. 238.
6. Ibid. 49.
7. Ibid. 49.
8. Ibid. 66-65.
9. Ibid. 239-238.
10. George Sainsbury, Prefaces and Essays, (London: Macmillan and Co., Limited, 1933.) 194.
11. Ibid.194.
12. Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice, (Hohhot: Inner Mongolia People’s Press, 2002) 239.
Bibliography
Austen Jane, Pride and Prejudice, Hohhot: Inner Mongolia People’s Press, 2002.
Sainsbury George, Prefaces and Essays, London: Macmillan and Co., Limited, 1933.
Scott Walter, "The Journal of Sir Walter Scott," March, 1826.
Pollock W. F., "Fraser's Magazine," January, 1860
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