In the novel, balls as a social experience provide historical background. It contributes to the plot development. At the same time, balls revealed the character’s traits for readers’ analysis.
In Pride and Prejudice, balls play an essential role. They contribute to the unraveling of the plot from the historical point of view. The novel is set in the 19th century in rural England. Balls were the critical events that helped people to socialize. While attending them, new residents got acquainted with their neighbors.
Balls provided an exclusive chance for young women and men to meet a partner for marriage. There they could engage in open talks with each other. In everyday life, their interaction was limited. And at balls, young ladies could demonstrate their individual nature without their parents’ strict control.
For Mrs. Bennet, balls were essential to introduce her daughters to society. She hoped that their beauty, talents, and intelligence would attract a wealthy man’s attention. Her expectations were satisfied when she noticed that Charles Bingley had been charmed with the oldest daughter, Jane.
At the same time, the balls exposed the characters’ traits for the readers’ further analysis. For instance, the behavior of Mr. Darcy was rude because he danced only four times. The ballroom etiquette of the 19th century had several rules for men. Gentlemen should dance well, take part in every dance, and invite as many ladies as possible.
Elizabeth demonstrated her vivid nature when she felt dissatisfied with having to dance with Mr. Collins instead of Mr. Wickham. A lady could not refuse the invitation of a partner when he approached and asked her to dance.