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Money and Marriage——The matrimonial value orientation in P

[Abstract]PrideandprejudiceisaverypopularnovelwrittenbyJaneAustenanditisreadwidelyallovertheworld.Itwaswrittenin1813.Thatspecifichistorytimedecidedthatpeopleatthattimetookmoneymuchmoreseriously,evenonthEirmarriage.Inthispaper,themarriagecasesofmostcharactersinthebookweretakenastypicaltoanalyzehowmoneyinfluencedthEIrmatrimonialvalueorientation. [Keywords]Prideandprejudice,money,matrimonialvalueorientation,marriage [摘要]簡·奧斯丁的《傲慢與偏見》寫于1813年,一直以來很受歡迎,并被廣泛閱讀。特定的 歷史 時代 決定了那個時候的人們對金錢特別看重, 影響 波及婚姻觀念。在這篇文章里面,書中大部分人物的婚姻選擇都用來作為典型,證實金錢體現他們的婚姻價值取向。 [關鍵詞]傲慢與偏見,金錢,婚姻價值取向,婚姻觀 Introduction PrideandPrejudiceisthemostenduringlypopularnovelwrittenbyJaneAusten.Ittalksabouttrivialmattersoflove,marriageandfamilylifebetweencountrysquiresandfairladiesinBritaininthe18thcentury. The plotisverysimple.Thatishowtheyoungladieschoosetheirhusbands.Someonesaidthat“ElizabethBennet,theprotagonistofthenovel,flatlyrejectedWilliamCollins’proposal,whoistheheirofherfather’spropertyandmanor,andrefusedthefirstproposalfromtheextremelywealthynoblemanFitzwilliamDarcylater,”(1)allthismakesitclearthatElizabeth“seeksnofamenorfortune,butself-improvementandhighmentaloutlook.”(1)It’sright.FromtheviewpointofAusten,Elizabeth’smarriage,whofinallymarriesDarcy,aswellasJane-Bingley’s,composingmoneyandlove,istheidealmarriagepeopleshouldafter.Butinothermarriagecasesinthisnovel,wecanseethatifmoneyandlovecan’tbeheldtogetherinonemarriage,lovewouldalwaysmakeaconcessiontomoneybecauseofthespecialsocialbackground.Afterreadingthroughthewholebook,wewillfindthatmoneyactsasthecauseofeachplotandtheclueofitsdevelopment.Itaffectseverybody’swordsanddeeds,evenElizabethBennet.TonyTanneroncesaid,“JaneAusten,aswellasotherauthors,isveryclearthatnofeelingcouldbeextremelypureandnomotivecouldbedefinitelysingle.Butaslongasitispossible,weshouldmakeitclearthat which feelingormotiveplaystheleadingrole.”(2)SocialBackground The storyofPrideandPrejudicetookplaceinthetimeoftheRegencyinBritain.Atthattime,BritainwasattheperiodoftransitionfromtheearlierstageofCapitalismtoCapitalistIndustrialization.Inthecountryside,thearistocraticfamilystillheldgreatpowerandrightthatcountrysquireswerelikelytofawnuponthem. However ,asthedevelopmentofCapitalismandtheexpandoftherankofrichpeople,thedistinctionbetweensocialstratawasbecomingsmallerandsmaller,whilemoneywasgettingmoreandmoreimportantinpeople’smindaboutsocialvalue.Awesternliteraturecriticoncesaidthat“evenDavidRicardo(aBritisheconomist)hadaunlikelyclearerunderstandingaboutthefunctionofmoneyindailylifeasJaneAustenhad.”(3)Itisexactlybecauseofthesecurepledgeinfinancethatthecountrysquiresocietycouldbeexistingstronglyandsolidly. Thefirstsentenceofthewholenovelproclaims,“Itisatruthuniversallyacknowledged,thatasinglemaninpossessionofagoodfortunemustbeinwantofawife.”(4)Here,“agoodfortune”and“inwantof”aretwokeyphrases.“inwantof”meansitisneededobjectively,butnotsubjectively.Suchkindofwordingmakesthepropositionhavemoreobjectivityof“truth”.InPrideandPrejudice,theBennetsaretakenasthetypicaltotestthe“truthuniversallyacknowledged”. Mr.andMrs.Bennethavefivedaughters,livingatLongbourn.Mr.Bennet’spropertyconsistsalmostentirelyinanestateoftwothousandpoundsayear, which ,unfortunatelyforhisdaughters,isentailed,indefaultofhEirsmale,onadistantrelation.ThatmeanstherewillbenootherguaranteeforthEIrdaughters’futurelives,buttheirperspectivemarriages.Therefore,itisnowonderthatMrs.BennettakesMr.Bingleyas“therightfulproperty”(5)fortheirdaughters when shehearsaboutthathehasonehundredthousandpoundsproperty,thoughshehasnotevenseenhim–“Asinglemanoflargefortune;fourorfivethousandayear.Whatafinethingforourgirls!”(6)Thatisthebeginningofthenovel.Theimplicitmarriagementionedhereobviouslyconcernsnofeelingbutonlyfinancialconditionandsubsistence.Tothosehusband-huntingladies,Mr.Bingleyisanabstractsignal.Themostimportantthingisthathehas“agoodfortune”.Sowecansay,tooppositewiththeproclamationatthebeginning,so-called“asinglemaninpossessionofagoodfortunemustbeinwantofawife”isnotatall“atruthuniversallyacknowledged”,butonlyMrs.Bennet’sownwishfulthinking.Wecanalsosaythat,asZhuHongpointedout,inPrideandprejudice,thereal“truthuniversallyacknowledged”is“awomanwithoutpropertymustbeinwantofahusbandwithagoodfortune.”(7)WefirstseeMr.Darcyattheball,“Hesoondrewtheattentionoftheroombyhisfine,tallperson,handsomefeatures,noblemien,andthereport which wasingeneralcirculationwithinfiveminutesafterhisentrance,ofhishavingtenthousanda-year.”(8) NextistheintroductionaboutMr.Bingleyandhistwosisters. “ The ywereinfactveryfineladies;notdeficientingoodhumor when theypleased,norinpowerofbEingagreeablewhentheychoseit,butproudandconcEIted.Theywereveryhandsome,hadbeeneducatedinoneofthefirstprivateseminariesintown,hadafortuneoftwentythousandpounds,wereinthehabitofspendingmorethantheyought,andofassociatingwithpeopleofrank,andwerethereforeineveryrespectentitledtothinkwellofthemselves,andmeanlyofothers.TheywereofarespectablefamilythenorthofEngland;acircumstancesmoredeeplyimpressedontheirmemoriesthanthattheirbrother’sfortuneandtheirownhadbeenacquiredbytrade. Mr.Bingleyinheritedpropertytotheamountofnearlyanhundredthousandpoundsfromhisfather,whohadintendedtopurchaseanestate,butdidnotlivetoit.Mr.Bingleyintendeditlikewise,andsometimesmadechoiceofhiscounty;butashewasnowprovidedwithagoodhouseandthelibertyofamanor,itwasdoubtfultomanyofthosewhobestknewtheeasinessofhistemper,whetherhemightnotspendtheremainderofhisdaysatNetherfield,andleavethenextgenerationtopurchase.”(9) ThenarrationabovedescribestheBritishcountrysquires’life-picturefromoneaspect.Theyhaveenoughmoneyforloafing,andtheseloaferscanaffordbigorsmallresidencewithservantsfororderingabout.Theytakefamilybackgroundseriously,whichisthemostimportantfactortoearnothers’respect,onthebasisoffortuneandgood-breeding.Atthesametime,theywillnottracetoitssources.Inshort,theredoesexiststricthierarchy,whichisclassifiedaccordingtothefamilyandtraditionfromthesurface,butthefinancialincomeactually.Thosewhohavethehighestincomewillbeinthehighestsocialposition,owninglargeresidenceandparks,havingthenicestfurnitureandthemostpreciouspaintings,andthebeststreamsforfishing.Themoneyearnedbytradingisdespised,butitwillbesoonforgottenaftergenerations. However ,toavoidbeinglookeddownupon,thegenerationatpresentwillalwaysemploysuchkindofclevermethod:givingupbusinessdealingorprofessionandgoingtocountrysidetosettledownthennobodywillknowtheirpast.FromanEighboroftheBennets,wecangettoknowhowsuchsocialprocessbegins: “SirWilliamLucashadbeenformerlyintradeinMeryton,wherehehadmadeatolerablefortune,andrisentothehonorofknighthoodbyanaddresstotheking,duringhismayoralty. The distinctionhadperhapsbeenfelttoostrongly.Ithadgivenhimadisgusttohisbusiness,andtohisresidenceinasmallmarkettown;and,quittingthemboth,hehadremovedwithhisfamilytoahouseaboutamilefromMeryton,denominatedfromtheperiodLucasLodge,wherehecouldthinkwithpleasureofhisownimportance,andunshackledbybusiness,occupyhimselfsolelyinbEIngciviltoalltheworld.”(10) Thenwhatattitudedoestheserichcountrysquiresholdtothelow-classpeoplesurroundingthem?Let’slookatanotherparagraphofdescriptionaboutLadyCatherinedeBourgh: “Elizabethsoonperceived,thatthoughthisgreatladywasnotinthecommissionofthepeaceforthecounty,shewasamostactivemagistrateinherownparish,theminutestconcernsof which werecarriedtoherbyMr.Collins;and when everanyofthecottagersweredisposedtobequarrelsome,discontented,ortoopoor,shesalliedforthintothevillagetosettletheirdifferences,silencetheircomplaints,andscoldthemintoharmonyandplenty.”(11) LadyCatherinedeBourghisamodelofherrank,arrogantandconceited.Hermannerstotheinferiorsaredictatorialandinsolent.Shehasthereputationofbeingremarkablysensibleandclever.Butallthis,togetherwithherabilityofadministratingthecounty,derivesfromherrankandfortune.Thatistosay,goodfameandexceedingpowerwouldcertainlycometoapersonaslongashe/shehasmoneyandisinhighsocialposition.The greatimpactofmoneyonmarriage InPrideandPrejudice,wecanalwaysseecountrysquires’lEisurelylifewithcalls,walks,picnics,conversations,parties,ballsandmarriages.ButseEIngthroughthesurface,thereisaworldofstrugglingforexistencedeterminedbyeconomicbase.Thewholebookisfilledwithdigit.Mr.Bennet’spropertyconsistsalmostentirelyinanestateoftwothousandpoundsayear.Mrs.Bennet’sfather...leavesherfourthousandpounds.Eachoftheirfivedaughterscangetonethousandpoundsinthe4percentsaftertheirmotherdies.Mr.Bingleyinheritspropertytotheamountofnearlyanhundredthousandspoundsfromhisfatherandhehasfourorfivethousandayear.MissBingleyhasafortuneoftwentythousandpounds.Mr.Darcyhastenthousandpoundsayearwhilehissister,Georgianahasapropertyofthirtythousandpounds.WickhamwantstogettenthousandfromDarcy,otherwisehewillnotmarryLydiaeventhoughtheyareinelopement.ColonelFitzwilliam,Darcy’scousin,wouldliketomarryawomanwhoshouldhaveapropertyofatleastfiftythousandpounds,sincehehasnoinheritanceasayoungersonofanearl.Mr.Collinsclaimsthathemustmakesuchanagreementfortithesasmaybebeneficialtohimselfandnotoffensivetohispatron.Eventhechimney-pieceinoneofLadyCatherine’sdrawingroomscostseighthundredpounds.Ofcourse,theveryonethingthatcannotbeforgottentomentionisthattheestateentailofMr.Bennet, which makesMrs.Bennetbeextremeobsession.AnditistheexactthingthatdecidesthefateoftheirfivedaughtersandthenthestoryofPrideandprejudiceoccurs.Uponthewhole,nomarriagethatinvolvesnomoney.Exceptthedetaileddigitofmoney,thereisanotherfactor which hasagreatinfluenceonmarriage.Thatissocialpositiondeterminedbyeconomiccondition.Inthestory,theBennetshavesomelowconnections. The yhaveoneuncle,Mr.Phillips,bEinganattorneyinMeryton,andanotherone,Mr.Gardiner,settlinginLondoninarespectablelineoftrade.Asforthis,MissBingleyalwaysmakesfunoftheBennets,andMr.Darcyoncesaysfranklythat“itmustverymateriallylessenthEIrchanceofmarryingmenofanyconsiderationintheworld.”(12) Tomakeitclearthatmoneyisveryimportantinthemarriageconventionofsuchkindofsociety,Mr.Collins’wordsafterElizabethrefusinghisproposalcanbetakenasproof. “…Itdoesnotappeartomethatmyhandisunworthyyouracceptance,orthatestablishmentIcanofferwouldbeanyotherthanhighlydesirable.Mysituationinlife,myconnectionswiththefamilyofdeBourgh,andmyrelationshiptoyourown,arecircumstanceshighlyinmyfavor;andyoushouldtakeitintofurtherconsideration,thatinspiteofyourmanifoldattractions,itisbynomeanscertainthatanotheroffertomarriagemayeverbemadeyou,yourportionisunhappilysosmall,thatitwillinalllikelihoodundotheeffectsofyourlovelinessandamiablequalifications.”(13) Mr.Collinsisnotasensibleman,andthedeficiencyofNaturehasbeenbutlittleassistedbyeducationorsociety.Thesubjectioninwhichhisfatherbroughthimuphasgivenhimoriginallygreathumilityofmanner;butitisagreatdealcounteractedbytheself-conceitofaweakhead,livinginretirement,andtheconsequentfeelingsofearlyandunexpectedprosperity.TherespectwhichhefeelsforLadyCatherine’shighrank,andhisvenerationforherashispatroness,minglingwithaverygoodopinionofhimself,ofhisauthorityasaclergyman,andhisrightasarector,makeshimaltogetheramixtureofprideandobsequiousness,self-importanceandhumility.HisintentionofchoosingElizabethashiswifeishisplanofamends--ofatonement–forinheritingtheirfather’sestate;andhethinksitanexcellentone,fullofeligibilityandsuitableness,andexcessivelygenerousanddisinterestedonhisownpart.SohetakesitforgrantedthatElizabethwillaccepthisproposalcheerfullyandreadily.ThoughElizabethrejectshimforhisincompletecharacter,itstillcantellusthelowsocial-statusoftheBritishwomenatthatperiodoftime.Theonlythingayoungladywithoutpropertycoulddoistomarryingamanwithagoodfortune.TakethemarriagecaseofLucas-Collinsforanotherexample.MissLucasisElizabeth’sclosestfriend.Sheisasensible,intelligentyoungwoman,knowingitveryclearlythat“Mr.Collins,tobesure,wasnEithersensiblenoragreeable;hissocietywasirksome,andhisattachmenttohermustbeimaginary.Butstillhewouldbeherhusband.WithoutthinkinghighlyEItherofmenorofmatrimony,marriagehadalwaysbeenherobject;itwastheonlyhonorableprovisionforwell-educatedyoungwomenofsmallfortune,andhoweveruncertainofgivinghappiness,mustbetheirpleasantestpreservativefromwant.”(14) SuchhumorousandpiercingdescriptionportraysthementalityofLucas-likewomendeeplyandalsotheirfatethatthereisnootherwaythatcanimprovetheirownpositioninfinanceandsocietyexceptmarryingahusbandwithagoodfortune.ElizabethgoestoParsonagetovisitthembytheinvitationofMissLucasaftertheygettingmarried,andfinds: “Herhomeandherhousekeeping,herparishandherpoultry,andalltheirdependentconcerns,hadnotyetlosttheircharms.”(15)“WhenMr.Collinscouldbeforgotten,therewasreallyagreatairofcomfortthroughout…”(16) Itisinterestingthat,insuchmarriagebasedonsoleandnakedmoney-transaction,thewomanwithoutpropertydoesmarryasinglemanwithagoodfortune,butthehusbandhimselfhasnothingtodowiththeenjoymentthemarriagebringingtoher.Isnotitanexcellentironytothepropositionatthebeginningofthenovelthe“truthuniversallyacknowledged”? Wickham-LydiaScandalcanbetakenasanotherinstancetoillustratethatmoneyisofoverwhelmingimportanceinmarriage.Wickhamisveryhandsomeandcharmingfromhisappearance,butactuallydemoralizes.Heisextravagantandalwaysgreatlyindebtsofhonor.Lydia,farmoredifferentfromhertwoeldersisters,isvain,ignorant,idleandabsolutelyuncontrolled.Moreover,sheindulgesherselfinflirtationwithofficers. The yelopefromBrightonwithoutanyengagementandarefoundoutinLondonfinally.Thoughundersuchcircumstances,WickhamhasnointentionatalltomarryLydia,butforDarcy’shelpinsecret:“Mr.Darcyaskedhimwhyhehadnotmarriedyoursisteratonce?ThoughMr.Bennetwasnotimaginedtobeveryrich,hewouldhavebeenabletodosomethingforhim,andhissituationmusthavebeenbenefitedbymarriage.Buthefound,inreplytothisquestion,thatWickhamstillcherishthehopeofmoreeffectuallymakinghisfortunebymarriageinsomeothercounty.Undersuchcircumstances,however,hewasnotlikelytobeproofagainstthetemptationofimmediaterelief. The ymetseveraltimes,fortherewasmuchtobediscussed.Wickham,ofcourse,wantedmorethanhecouldget,butatlengthwasreducedtobereasonable.”(17) Wickham’smarryingLydiafinallycalmsdownthedissatisfactioninthesociety,andforthat,Mrs.Bennetisingreatjoy. Inmarriage,moneyisconsideredasthefactorofextremeimportance,notonlytodaughters,butalsotoyoungersons.Let’shaveacloselookattheconversationbetweentherespectableColonelFitzwilliamandElizabeth: “…Now,seriously,whathaveyoueverknownofself-denialanddependence?Whenhaveyoubeenpreventedbywantofmoneyfromgoingwhereveryouchose,orprocuringanythingyouhadafancyfor?” “Thesearehomequestions—andperhapsIcannotsaythatIhaveexperiencedmanyhardshipsofthatnature.ButinmattersofgreaterwEight,Imaysufferfromthewantofmoney.Youngersonscannotmarrywheretheylike.” “Unlesswheretheylikewomenoffortune, which Ithinktheyveryoftendo.” “Ourhabitsofexpensemakeustoodependent,andtherearenotmanyinmyrankoflifewhocanaffordtomarrywithoutsomeattentiontomoney.”(18)Nowlet’sturntotheprotagonistofthenovel,ElizabethBennets.Sheisintelligent,vivacious,humorous,perceptiveandquick-witted,andshehasastrongsenseofpersonalityanddignity.Shedespiseshermother’sdreadfulmentalityandunbearablyvulgarandalsoheryoungersisters’flirtatiousnessanddissoluteness,butisneverashamedofheramiableuncleandaunt,Mr.andMrs.GardinerjustbecauseofthEirprofessionasmerchants.ShefirmlyrefusesMr.Collins’proposal,againsthermother’sexpectation,becauseshedoesnotandwillneverlovehim,anddeclinesMr.Darcyresolutely,forhisexpressinghislovetoherarrogantlyandimpertinently.ShedoesnotknuckleunderthesnobbishMissBingley,andisnEItheroverbearingnorcringingtoMrs.deBourghandherdomineeringness.WhenthelattershowsherintentiontointerveneherfreedomofmarryingDarcyornot,shetakesondiamond-cut-diamondandnevercompromised.ShefinallymarriesDarcyandhermarriageisconsideredasanidealone,foritconsistsofmoneyandlove.LeavingasidehertrueloveforDarcy,then,whatroledoesmoneyplayinherprocessofchasingaftermarriage? SheonceholdsgoodfeelingsonWickham,consideringhimtobethemostagreeablemanshehasevermet.Butmeanwhile,shethinksitistooimprudenttofallinlovewithhim.Sheoncesaystoheraunt,Mrs.Gardiner, “Iwilltakecareofmyself,andofMr.Wickhamtoo.Heshallnotbeinlovewithme,ifIcanpreventit.”(19) So when WickhamgetsengagedwithMissKingforherten-thousand-poundproperty,shedoesnotfeelalittlebitsadbutfree.Hertwoyoungersisters,KittyandLydiaareresentfulabouthim,butshethinksThornleyG.C.andRobertsGwyneth,1984,AnOutlineofEnglishLiterature,LongmanWorldPublishingCorporation SampsonGeorge,1988, The ConciseCambridgeHistoryofEnglishLiterature,CambridgeUniversityPress WattIan(Editor),1963,JaneAusten:ACollectionofCriticalEssays,MacmillanGeneralReference AustenJane,1994,Prideandprejudice,PenguinPopularClassics DrabbleMargaret,1985,TheOxfordCompani, ontoEnglishLiterature,OxfordUneversityPress TannerTony,1988,JaneAusten,HarvardUniversityPress CrazyEnglish創刊號1996中山大學音像出版社 陳明瑤2000《理性與情感》四川外語學院學報2000年第1期 范存思1983《英國文學史提綱》四川人民出版社 潘維新1989《奧斯丁作品中的婦女群像》西南師范大學學報,1989年第4期 王佐良1996《英國文學史》商務印書館 周青1997《淺論簡奧斯丁小說的現實意義》鹽城 教育 學院學報1997年第2期 朱虹(編)1997《英國小說的黃金 時代 》 中國 社會 科學 出版社 朱虹(編)1985《奧斯丁 研究 》中國文聯出版公司 朱琳1987《奧斯丁小說主題意義初探》外國文學研究雜志社

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