Courtship In Pride And Prejudice Essay

1906 words - 8 pages

Through the use of literary devices, Pride and Prejudice reveals Jane Austen’s attitude towards the novel’s theme of true love through the actions of the suitors; the process of courtship in the 1800s articulates characterization, foreshadowing, and irony. The novel opens with the line, “it is a truth acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune must be in want of wife,” (Austen 1) which foreshadows the conflict of finding a significant other . During the Victorian age, men and women courted others of the same education, wealth, and social status; it was considered uncommon for someone to marry beneath them or to marry for love. Jane Austen uses Elizabeth Bennett’s encounters with different characters of varying social statuses to criticize the traditional class system; she illustrates a revolutionary idea that marriage should be based on love. In the resolution of the plot, Austen demonstrates the perfect qualities in a marriage; she incorporates Aristotle's philosophy of friendship to prove the validity of the having an affectionate relationship.
The bond between the Bennett sisters portrays the simplest form of relationships; each sister relies on her sisters to guide her through her conflicts. According to May, “The primary sibling relationship occurs in a social environment involving networks of human interaction in which pairs of siblings of varying significance typically frame the main action of the plot, providing a background of fraternal and sororal 'white noise' against which the main discourse is set forth” (336). The sisters posses different personalities; their personalities foreshadow the success of their future relationships. Jane, the oldest Bennett, presents herself as polite and shy, while Elizabeth comes across independent and headstrong. Mary, the middle child, is characterized as awkward and embarrassing, and Kitty and Lydia are ditzy and foolish. How the sisters interact with one another determines how they approach a possible suitor. For example, Lydia and Kitty "throw" themselves at any available men; such behavior causes Lydia to enter a reckless marriage with Wickham. Similarly, Mary's awkward and reclusive actions promote her as an agreeable suitor; this makes her the only Bennett sister to not have the opportunity to be married. The two oldest sisters contain the most agreeable and independent personalities among the Bennett sisters, which foreshadows their successful relationships. Jane’s positive attitude causes Bingley to be attracted to her, but Darcy questions Bingley’s choice. By the end of the novel, Bingley realizes that he made a mistake to leave Jane. Jane’s marriage is the first marriage bring prestige to the Bennetts. As for Elizabeth, her personality first comes across unagreeable to suitors, but suitors realize that she is the next respectful Bennett sister besides Jane. Darcy's entitled personality clashes with Elizabeth's prideful attitude; eventually, Darcy discovers that...

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