Pride and Prejudice
The cultural theme of this interaction deals with the custom of arranged marriages. The scene analyzed discusses the possibility that a character may be engaged to a man who has been promised to marry a woman his parents had chosen for him. The ensuing conversation is produced by assumptions and rumors circulating through the social circles which both characters frequent.
Pride and Prejudice is set in rural England during the Napoleonic Wars in 1790 to 1815. The characters mostly come from the gentry, which is the upper class determined by family relations and the ability to not work. The social setting is important because the ideals of the upper class dictate their interactions and relations with those from their class. The Bennet family is from the lower part of the gentry because although Mr. Bennet does not need to work, Mrs. Bennet has immediate relatives in the working class. Mr. Darcy and most other characters are from a higher social standing.
The story includes many main characters. The leading lady is Elizabeth Bennet, a twenty year-old woman from an upper-class family. The second oldest, Elizabeth is an intelligent, lively, playful, and witty character who is also prone to judge others based upon her first impression. The leading man is Mr. Darcy. Twenty eight years old, he is the wealthy owner of the renowned family estate of Pemberly. He greatly values honor and integrity both in his own life and in the lives of others. Elizabeth’s family plays an important role in the story. Her mother is a shrill, flighty, and overbearing woman whose only wish is to see her daughters married to high class men. Her father is a quiet man who loves his family and only wishes for his daughters to be happy. J...
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...t the question but she completed her second goal of refusing Lady Catherine and leaving. She ultimately accepts Mr. Darcy’s second proposal and they marry.
The British culture of this time places a great deal of emphasis on marriage and social class. This interaction demonstrates the amount of value the upper classes place on marriage. Lady Catherine saw the possible marriage of Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy as a threat to her and her daughter’s social standing while Elizabeth sought to marry someone she could respect and love. This is different from the current culture in the United States only in that we more often place an emphasis on love. Marriages for upward social mobility still occur but less often than marriages for love. Culture has changed the emphasis that is placed on social class in marriage.
March 16, 2015
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