All cozied up and sitting watching a remake of Jane Austen’s novel Persuasion and the story line gets me thinking.The story tells of a young lady who gets engaged to a young man who does not have much money and her family are completely against it. Eventually he makes his fortune and they end up living happily ever after. To get the significance of this story you need to understand a bit about the time Austen was writing from.
In the eighteenth and nineteenth century marriages were almost always based on social standing. Marriage was a means of securing a comfortable future for women, and a way of establishing power links and social standing for men. There were little or no social mobility and therefore those in the same level in society intermarried to secure whatever position they had, or could get.
Haven’t times changed! The Royal wedding taking place tomorrow is evidence of that. Now people marry for love and although the company you keep has an influence on the type of person you will marry, society is pretty fluid. Whether your wealth is acquired, non – existent, or inherited you could all sit down in a bar and have a drink. Without a doubt this has been a great step forward for humankind. Now there is a repulsion and frowning upon marrying for money. What is so wrong about marrying somebody to secure a better future for yourself?
Looking at the matter from a purely objective view point, it makes more sense to marry somebody according to their bank balance. Look at where marrying for love has brought us: many divorces, families split apart, children left with identity issues. Ok so marrying for love hasn’t caused all of this but the point is, people feel that marriage is something you can willy nilly decide to opt out of. Are we really happier now that we are allowed to follow our hearts desires and live ‘the dream’?
Happily ever after…