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Courtship in Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice

Satisfactory Essays
Courtship is friendly and often ingratiating attention for the purpose of winning a favor or establishing an alliance or other relationships. Courtship is a reoccurring theme in the novel The Pride and the Prejudice. For example, Mrs. Bennet is very concerned that all her daughters will marry, Lydia eloped with Wickham, Elizabeth turned down Mr. Collins proposal, and Darcy fell in love with Elizabeth.

Have you ever wondered why people focus so much on growing up and getting married? Mrs. Bennet's main concern in life is to see that all her daughters are married, preferably to wealthy men. She doesn't even seem to care whether or not her daughters truly love the men. There are many times in the book when Mrs. Bennet tries to set her daughters up with men. For example, when Bingley first moves to Netherfield Park, Mrs. Bennet encourages Mr. Bennet to meet him and make friends with him before any of the other neighbors. Another example of Mrs. Bennet's attempts to marry off her daughters is when Jane becomes ill while at Netherfield. Mrs. Bennet encourages Jane to stay instead of coming home because she feels this will bring her closer to Bingley (Citation). Arranged marriages were not an uncommon this during this time. Although arranged marriages occur less often now, dating is still very much arranged at times. The perfect example of arranged dating is Carmel Catholic High School's Homecoming dance. Many of my friends have been set up with guys they have never even spoken a word to. They were so desperate to go to the dance; they didn't care who their date was. This directly relates to the Pride and the Prejudice. For example, Mr. Collins proposes to Charlotte Lucas who accepts his offer. Charlotte, who greatly fears being single, doesn't even truly love Mr. Collins. She does not care if her husband is foolish and vain, as long as she has a husband. Charlotte has no romantic ideas that marriage must be based on love. She tells Elizabeth, "I am not romantic you know. . . I only ask for a comfortable home."(chapter 22)

Elizabeth is a beautiful independent woman who is not about to conform to society. She is always doing the unthinkable and is constantly surprising us with her wit and intelligence.
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