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What role does dancing play in Pride & Prejudice?

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In Pride and Prejudice, Jane Austen uses dance as the setting for the social ritual of courtship. Dance enables people to learn and socialize with each other. It demonstrates their interests and actual traits.

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Pride and Prejudice is a romantic novel. The book depicts the evolution of Elizabeth Bennet’s character. The mistakes of hasty judgments teach her the vast difference between superficial virtues and genuine goodness. In this novel, Jane Austen used many colorful symbols, especially those related to marriage. One such symbol is a dance. It is the starting point for the development of events. Furthermore, dancing helps to reveal characters, principles, views, and moods.

At the Meryton ball, dancing represents Mr. Darcy as an arrogant man. He slights Elizabeth Bennet and refuses to dance with her. In addition, when Darcy and Elizabeth dance for the first time, their steps are formal, restrained, and stilted. It reflects their relationship at that point. In the future, their actions in courtship will be accompanied by hesitation and lack of harmony. In the first pages, the narrator notices, “To be fond of dancing was a certain step towards falling in love.” Dance is an integral act of acquaintance and romance, which should lead to marriage.

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IvyPanda. 2020. "What role does dancing play in Pride & Prejudice?" December 1, 2020. https://ivypanda.com/q/what-role-does-dancing-play-in-pride-prejudice/.

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IvyPanda. (2020) 'What role does dancing play in Pride & Prejudice'. 1 December.

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