Courtship is generally defined as wooing, however, in early 19th century England, during Jane Austen’s time, it meant much more. It was a practice that had rites, phases, and formula. (Kass A. , Kass L. p33) The parents’ participation played a major role in the courtship and even the marriage. (Perkin. p27) Significantly, up until the 19th century, most marriages among young ladies and bachelors of any social status were fixed through relatives — parents most especially — or on the grounds of improving social status, family’s assets, or estates. (Kass A. , Kass L.p33)
Undoubtedly, to throw the arranged parties into the arms, or at least the way of each other, there have always been socials, balls, and dinners. (Perkin. p27) Though not all courtships or marriages were founded on love matches, there were certainly some love matches, as well as flings, affairs, and unreciprocated love. (Kass A. , Kass L. p33) There were many issues with courting in the 18th to early 19th century. The notion was handled with warning and very modest romantic openness that we see from our young lovers these days. (Kass A. , Kass L. p35) Personal expressions of affection and candor were not tolerated.
The act of courting was very cool and impersonal. (Perkin. p27) In history, there has never been an occasion when the relatives between the sexes have not been extremely difficult. (Kass A. , Kass L. p36) Compared to today’s engagement, usual courtship at that period was much more complicated. Many were based or arranged on the individual’s status on the society. (Perkin. p29) There was also usually a great age gap between the arranged parties. (Kass A. , Kass L. p36) Courtship and marriage was frequently considered as an agonizing and atrocious (Surname) 2 ordeal. (Perkin. p30)
The novel Pride and Prejudice is a witty story of courtship and marriage in 18th century England. (Lawton. p20) It focuses on Jane and Elizabeth, the Bennet’s elder sisters. (Austen, Gray. p119) The gentle Jane and strong-willed Elizabeth have to cope with not only their own feelings but also the social standing of their family which would both absolutely influence the results of their potential betrothals. (Rubinstein. p12) Pride and Prejudice is an appropriate title for the novel. These ideas comprehensively pervade the story, particularly in the views of Darcy and Elizabeth.
(Swisher. p19) Opinions of social class and marriage in the culture of 19th century England were very unlike the opinions of contemporary American culture. (Kass A. , Kass L. p35) As was previously stated, in 19th century England there were two major influences on marriage, to marry for social class (stability) and to marry for wealth (money) and the author illustrates that marriage was not mainly due to love for most people in that era but and act of high ranking, survival, and a position in society. (Lawton. p21) In 19th century England the morals of people were generally alike.
Women married for stability and money and men married for companionship and comfort. (Kass A. , Kass L. p41) Like anywhere though, there were exceptions. Not all men and women married for those motivations. (Bloom. p187) There were some who did not share in the similar standards and views as the rest of 19th century England. (Lawton. p21) The premise of courtship and marriage is depicted in the very first line of the book: “It is a truth universally acknowledged that a single man in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a wife.
” This line states the happenings that are to unfold, merely due to the idea that a man in possession of a considerable wealth ought to be in search of a wife. (Austen, Gray. p119) Courtship here assumes a philosophical part in the tale. Courtship represents the actual (Surname) 3 calculation of love, of which marriage is the final objective. (Swisher. p22) Every courtship turns into a stage for many kinds of love or in some instances many means to exploit love as a way to improve social status. (Persuassions.
22. 1) Elizabeth’s pride causes her to misunderstand Darcy on the basis of a bad first impression; while Darcy’s prejudice against Elizabeth’s inferior social status for a time renders him blind to her good qualities. (Persuassions. 22. 1) Elizabeth and Darcy’s awareness of a mutual love suggests that the author sees love as a thing independent of these influences of society, as a thing that can be attained if only a person is able to break away from the damaging results of societal hierarchy. (Watt.
p63) One of the major facets of the relationship that Darcy and Elizabeth share is the truth that their affection was not triggered by looks. (Austen, Gray. p121) This is made obvious by their initial meetings. Their love is little by little developed by getting to know each other more. (Bloom. p198) This relationship between Darcy and Elizabeth shows the significance of getting to know your partner before getting married. (Rubinstein. p14) The marriage between Bingley and Jane is also a case of successful marriage.
“…really believed all his (Bingley) expectations of felicity, to be rationally founded, because they had for basis the excellent understanding, and super-excellent disposition of Jane, and a general similarity of feeling and taste between her and himself. ” (Bloom. p198) Still, not like Elizabeth and Darcy, there is a flaw in their marriage. The flaw is that both Bingley and Jane are too generous and too naive to ever fiercely act against outside influences that may try to take them apart. (Watt.
p64) Elizabeth’s own judgment on this issue is made obvious when she states “You (Bingley and Jane) are each of you so complying, that nothing will ever be resolved on; so easy, that every servant will cheat you; and so generous, that you will always exceed your income. ” (Persuassions. 22. 1) The Gardiners prove to be responsible, intelligent, and are like the parents Jane and (Surname) 4 Elizabeth must have had. (Rubinstein. p16) Their marriage is successful. Both husband and wife love and respect each other. (Swisher. p19) The Bennets’ marriage is a harsh and direct opposite to that of the Gardiners’.
(Bloom. p198) Elizabeth defines the fitting marriage of the Gardiners “…suitableness as companions; a suitableness which comprehended health and temper to bear inconveniences – cheerfulness to enhance every pleasure – and affection and intelligence, which might supply it among themselves if there were disappointments abroad. ” (Austen. p103). One of the depressing facets of the story is the situation of Elizabeth’s best friend and neighbor Charlotte Lucas. Mr. Collins, Elizabeth’s cousin, came to town to acquire a wife. (Persuassions. 22. 1) “Mr. Collins was not a sensible man.
A fortunate chance had recommended him to Lady Catherine de Bourgh. The respect for which he felt for her high rank, and his veneration for her as his patroness, mingling with a very good opinion of himself, of his authority as a clergy man, and his rights as a rector, made him altogether a mixture of pride and obsequiousness, self-importance and humility. ” (Austen. p108) This tells us that Mr. Collins aims to appear as a modest man, when in real truth he has a very worldly attitude in life; he appreciates only size or quantity of estates or assets.
(Austen, Gray. p120) This causes him to appear really stupid, since he is believed to be a man of the church, but is incredibly short of Christian mind-set. (Bloom. p201) Generally, the idea of being an old maid was neither pleasing nor attractive, so that when Collins marries Charlotte, Charlotte’s brothers are “relieved from their apprehension of Charlotte’s dying an old maid,” (Austen. p98). Marriage was apparently the peak of a woman’s accomplishment in life and was one of the very few roads to economic security. (Bryant.
p37) Charlotte believes that it is the only agreeable road to security “…marriage had always been her object; it was the only honorable provision for well-educated young women of small fortune. ” (Austen. p98). She says, “Happiness in marriage is entirely a matter of chance. ” (Austen. p20). (Surname) 5 Charlotte proves her materialism and self-interest, since she is merely concerned about establishing herself into an establishment and acquiring social and economic security. (Persuassions. 22. 1) “…Miss Lucas, who accepted him solely from the pure and disinterested desire of an establishment, cared not how soon the establishment was gained.
” (Austen. p98). It is written that Charlotte did not think “highly either of men or of matrimony,” (Austen. p98). Charlotte does not require the equal sort of bliss Elizabeth does in marriage, such as love, and discovers contentment somewhere else, as she is satisfied by an establishment and social and economic security. (Watt. p63) Mr. Collins is a biological benefactor for Charlotte. (Bloom. p197) Mr. Bennet shows coldness and indifference to his more brainless, dense spouse, in order to survive his inapt marriage. (Bloom. p202) Mr. Bennet loves to withdraw to the library to dissociate himself from Mrs.
Bennet and the other stupid members of his family and he requests his wife for space to himself in the library. (Persuassions. 22. 1) “I shall be glad to have the library to myself as soon as may be. ” (Austen. p90). In Mr. Bennet’s knowledge, as Mrs. Bennet is perhaps blind to the fact, the marriage between them is a failure. (Swisher. p23) Mr. Bennet cannot revere somebody who is intellectually inferior to him. (Bloom. p173) They also have very dissimilar hobbies. (Persuassions. 22. 1) Mr. Bennet is partial to more rational activities like reading and debate for example while Mrs.
Bennet is fascinated in phony principles. (Bloom. p173) In most situations, marriage was for life. Consequently, Mr. Bennet is weighed down by the state of being locked in marriage. (Austen, Gray. p123) Mr. Bennet’s unhappiness and misery is revealed due to his yearning for solitude, his irresponsibility concerning his daughters, his apathy and sarcastic opinion of mankind, and his derision and dislike toward his partner. (Lawton. p26) The older Bennets provide between them a direction to corrupt giddiness. (Persuassions. (Surname) 6 22. 1) Mr. Bennet’s personality is a moral void.
(Rubinstein. 1969) His “indolence and the little attention he has to what was going forward in his family. ” (Bloom. p174) The results of the Bennets’ unsuccessful marriage are revealed in the poor preference of spouse Lydia makes, for Lydia resembles her mother, and Mr. Bennet considers himself guilty for her ruin, owing to not disciplining or educating her. (Austen, Gray. p124) Mr. and Mrs. Bennet eventually consent if they do not promote Lydia’s defiance. (Rubinstein. p16) An obvious exhibition of the Bennet’s failure is shown when Lydia is invited to Brighton. Mrs.
Bennet is insignificantly pleased but Elizabeth looks for her father to suggest to him “all the improprieties of Lydia’s general behavior” and naivete, particularly, of letting her to be out in the open, with almost no defenses, to all the allures of Brighton. (Lawton. p27) Mr. Bennet characteristically withdraws on his humor and avoids duty. (Watt. p67) “Lydia will never be easy till she exposed herself in some public place or other, and we can never expect her to do it with so little expense or inconvenience to her family as under the present circumstances. ” (Austen. p133)