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Role of Convention in Courtship.

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Role of Convention in Courtship We have studied the role of convention in courtship as displayed in three pre-20th Century literature and 'Trainspotting'. The pieces of text we will look at are 'Pride and Prejudice' by Jane Austen, two Elizabethan sonnets- one by Shakespeare and one by Drayton and the film/screenplay version of 'trainspotting' Pride and Prejudice was a novel written by Jane Austen. The story is based in the early 19th Century. The story is based around a very formal, affluent and aristocratic society. The Bennets are relatively poor and at the time there is no male heir to the Longbourn estate. Mr.Collins set about asking Elizabeth's hand in marriage in a 'very orderly manner'. He first approaches Mrs. Bennet after breakfast and asks for permission to ask Lizzy to marry him. Mrs. Bennet replies positively to Mr.Collins request. As Mrs. Bennet and Kitty (one of the sisters) are about to leave, Elizabeth protests to the private meeting but her mother insists on her staying and listening to what Mr. Collins has to say. He first tries to flatter her "Almost as soon as I entered this house I singled you out as the companion of my future life". ...read more.


Darcy. After he inquires about her health, he paces around the room for a few minutes and then makes a declaration of love for her. While he speaks 'eloquently' about his admiration for her, he also clearly expresses the inferiority of her connections and the family obstacles that prevented him from proposing sooner. Elizabeth turns down his proposal rather harshly, and he is both surprised and resentful. Elizabeth explains her reasons for turning him down. These reasons are, first, the arrogant manner of his proposal; second, his actions to separate Bingley and Jane; and third, his actions toward Wickham. Darcy replies angrily that her calculation of his faults are indeed heavy, but that she might have overlooked them if he had not been honest about the fact that her family connections had made him try to avoid becoming attached to her. She simply states that his manner of proposal had no influence on her other than to "spare me the concern of refusing you, had you acted in a more gentlemanlike manner." After she finishes speaking he quickly leaves the room. By proposing to Elizabeth he is breaking convention because of social differences and Elizabeth is breaking convention by refusing! ...read more.


Just as Renton is about to turn around and leave Diane asks if he is coming or not. In this scene both characters play with and sometimes reverse convention. This reverses convention in the way that in the modern day people pick their own partners and that women can now take the lead in relationships. Also that sex on a first date is not unusual these days. I conclude that while both Drayton and Mr. Collins' texts are both very conventional (Mr. Collins thinks he is following convention), Mr. Darcy, Shakespeare and 'Trainspotting' oppose convention. Mr Darcy does this by marrying below his class; Shakespeare does this by making a parody of convention of sonnets and 'Trainspotting does this by reversing convention when the girl leaves the male to decide. The sonnets were written in the 16th Century and were seen as formal. Sonnets were a way of worshipping a loved one from afar. The "Pride and Prejudice" pieces were written in the 18th Century in a time when girls could not inherit property and so found it difficult to marry. Both Darcy and Collins show that property and status is important and that Elizabeth has a lack of it. Elizabeth should be grateful but breaks convention when she refuses them. ...read more.

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