Charlotte Lucas quoted in Pride and Prejudice that “Happiness in marriage is entirely a matter of chance.”
Characters of Pride and Prejudice
Elizabeth: The novel revolves around the main character Elizabeth Bennet who was second of the five sisters having wittiness, boldness, and intelligence.
Mr. Darcy: A very rich aristocrat who is very proud, naughty and a person with a class difference and because of this narrow mind view he was rebuked by Elizabeth.
Jane: The oldest daughter with good nature, humbleness, selflessness is Jane Bennet. She could easily be fooled by the wickedness of others and was injured by her friend Caroline Bingley because of her sweetness.
Mr. Bingley: He is a good-tempered person like Jane although being a rich person. He is also modest and he is in love with Jane all through the novel.
Mary: Mary Bennet is the middle sister and is introvert. She hated being out in society and usually spend time in studying. She herself was a cipher for Austen.
Mr. Collins: He is a distant cousin of Bennet’s and is a comedy person. He is a mixture of pride and admiration. He does not change even after his marriage with Charlotte Lucas.
Charlotte: Best friend of Elizabeth is Charlotte Lucas. She is a neighbor of Elizabeth. Her views on marriage are more like a compromise and transaction rather than a romantic courtship which is totally opposite to that of Elizabeth. When Mr. Collins proposal was rejected by Elizabeth, she decides to marry him.
Meaning of the Quote
Charlotte Lucas stated that ” I wish Jane success with all my heart; and if she were married Mr. Bingley tomorrow, I should think she had a good chance of happiness as if she were to be studying his character for a twelvemonth. Happiness in marriage is entirely a matter of chance.”
Here she co-relates time, marital happiness and character study. She meant to say that to meet the correct person for life and to connect with them in a long lasting relationship happens by chance rather than doing it by planning.
Marriage in her perspective was more to grab a chance than a relationship of commitment and sacrifices. Even if that does not lead to the happiness of your choice, it should be accepted after thinking about your future in that marriage relationship.
Explanation of the Quote
In today’s world, marriage means soul to soul connection, it’s all about love and soul mates. But in history, the case was totally different. Marriage at that time was usually a political and financial compromise rather than a concept of love.
In Pride and Prejudice, it is illustrated that women at that time also did not marry for love. It was a great scenario if the marriage takes place due to love but was a very rare case. In that case, the women would be considered super special as well as odd for all.
As single women did not have a lot of property and could not manage all at their own, marriage was their necessity. If they do not marry their father and after his death, their brothers would take care of them. But being ins such case you would mostly be working as maids in your own house
Charlotte is a very practical person and her approach toward marriage is different from all. She married Mr. Collins at the age of 27. Mr. Collins had first approached Elizabeth she rejected the proposal and then he came to Charlotte which she accepted.
She knew that after many rejections, Mr. Collins was her only chance to get her out of her parent’s house. He was her only chance to avoid getting into the work of mistress in her own house. Hence despite Elizabeth’s so much opposes, she accepted Mr. Collins with the pure desire of her establishment.
Charlotte did not love him at all. Although she knew she was not happy with her choice, she knew that she won’t ever regret her decision. She also knew that Mr. Collins loved her wholeheartedly and would always keep her happy. She also expressed her wish of security rather than that of love in this marriage to Mr. Collins very clearly.
Charlotte also presented her views on Jane’s marriage. Jane is very quite on her marriage. When Elizabeth gossips with Charlotte about the crush Jane had on Bingley Charlotte clarified that if a woman shows more affection than what she feels it would be more better.
She also added that if a woman does not show her feelings and keeps it hidden for someone, there are many chances that she will lose that great opportunity to fix that affection and later on it will be just a consolation to the see the world in the dark like that we see in the light. But the truth will be bitter than.
On listening to her views, Elizabeth and Lizzy make her fun but they somewhere knew she was right. And then Charlotte explains to them that it is always a chance that you grab to have happiness in your marriage.
Happiness in Marriage is Entirely a Matter of Choice