Love and marriage is the theme of the best selling book Bridget Jones’ Diary by Helen Fielding and the critically acclaimed novel Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen. There are numerous similarities between the two yet they are set in different eras. Despite this, the young women in both texts have to deal with family and people in their social circles pressurising them to meet the ideal man or love interest.
Each story revolves around the main female characters, Bridget Jones and Elizabeth Bennet. In pride prejudice, the financial status of the women was more of an issue when it came to finding an ideal partner, than it was in Bridget Jones’ Diary. The Bennets were not very financially ...view middle of the document...
“Hi Bridget, how’s your love life?” And “so, Bridget, why is it you career girls can’t hold down a decent man?” Bridget often puts off answering the question, with a quick, witty reply. “Well I suppose it doesn’t help that beneath our clothes we’re covered in scales!”
In pride and Prejudice, Elizabeth’s younger sister Lydia runs away with her love interest Mr Wickham. The couple were frowned upon, as the idea of pre-marital sex brought shame upon the family. Lydia Bennet was never seen as the stereotypical ‘wife’ material by her family, as she was thought of as young and silly. Nowadays, this has changed as Bridget's love life with her boyfriend Daniel Cleaver, affects no one but herself and she is not concerned how her relationship with him will affect her parents.
In both texts the men have very high expectations of the women they want to date or court, and seem to disregard women who do not reach these standards. An example of this is when Bridget overhears Mark Darcy talking about her to his mother remarking on how inappropriate her language is and how dependable she is on alcohol and cigarettes. “Mother I do not need a blind date. Particularly not with some verbally incontinent spinster who drinks like a fish, smokes like a chimney and dresses like her mother.” Mark doesn’t want to be associated or fixed up with Bridget as she does not fit his ideal.
Equally, Mr Darcy tells his friend Mr Bingley how outspoken and rude the Bennet girls are, and how he dislikes the family. He makes this known to Elizabeth by refusing to dance with her. “Indeed, sir, I have not the least intention of dancing. I entreat you not to suppose that I moved this way in order to beg for a partner.” Mr Darcy replied with this, when asked if he would like to dance with her.
Mr Darcy feels Elizabeth is of a lower status than himself, and looks down on her for that, in the same way that Mark does on Bridget preferring to keep friendship with his more likely partner Natasha his work colleague.
Bridget feels personally, that she is not on the same level as Mark Darcy or Daniel Cleaver, as she tries to lose weight in order to be found more attractive by these men, and tries to alter her language in order to be seen as a more respectable person. She feels at every occasion she has to try and impress Daniel by wearing shorter skirts and see through shirts trying to get his attention as she feels she cannot do this with her wit or charm.
However Elizabeth is more head strong and wouldn’t dream of changing her appearance to gain the attention of males. Most of her friends and family do this but Elizabeth has more respect for her self-beliefs.
Elizabeth feels that the problem with her not finding a husband lies within the man and does not blame herself for anything. This in itself proves that she is a more...