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    How convention dictates courtship

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    We have looked at many different types of courtship and we have seen the different parts that convention plays in each one. We started off with Trianspotting and looked at the part that convention played when the lead character, Renton is trying to charm Diane. We see that Renton goes against all conventions and complements her on something other than her looks. He says: I was very impressed by the capable and stylish manner in which you dealt with that situation. In this instance Renton is somewhat unconventional in his courtship.

    His first remarks to Diane are unusually wordy and they fail to mention the one thing that he is struck by, namely, her appearance. His courtship at this stage is insincere. Diane brushes him off, as she is used to men “chatting her up. ” Nevertheless, once Renton gets into the taxi with her, Diane takes the initiative and kisses Renton. In this courtship the messages are ambiguous. First she brushes him off, and then she kisses him. They have sex, and afterwards Renton says, ‘Christ I haven’t felt that good since Archie Gemmil scored against Holland in 1978. This remark suggests that football and sex with a pretty girl are equally important in his life. I think that this is quite a convincing portrayal of courtship nowadays.

    The next morning Renton is shocked to see Diane wearing her school uniform. He realises that he had sex with an underage girl, and that means that he has committed a criminal act. Diane immediately takes the upper hand as Renton is so frightened off by the prospect of police action, they’d cut my balls off and flush them down the fucking toilet. Diane exploits her dominant position by blackmailing him into seeing her again.

    This courtship has one striking unconventional feature. Within a short space of time each person reverses his or her role: Diane wasn’t keen to start the relationship but she wants to see him again; Renton tried to “chat her up” in the first place and now he is trying to escape. We also looked at a few extracts from Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice. We first looked at the scene when Mr Bingley and his good friend Mr Darcy come to look at a vacant house near the Bennet house. When the extract starts we see Mrs. Bennet rush into the room where Mr. Bennet is sitting and announces that someone has moved into the vacant house across them.

    She says that it is a ‘fine thing for our girls! ‘ this shows that Mrs. Bennet is not concerned much about the personality about the man but about how big his ‘fortune’ is. When we ‘meet’ Mr Bingley we can see that he is a nice man and he has a friend called Mr Darcy who has an even bigger fortune than Mr Bingley so he is now the front-runner for Mr and Mrs Bennet’s daughters. In this extract the convention of courtship could not be more different to what occurs in Trainspotting. In Pride and Prejudice the young ladies rely on their parents to make all of the introductions.

    Furthermore, the parents consider which men are considered eligible bachelors and which are not. In those days financial security was considered to be one of the most important factors. In Trainspotting the man and woman introduce themselves and have sex without even knowing each other. In Pride and Prejudice there is no mention whatsoever of sex, which presumably can only take place after marriage. Nevertheless, some conventions never change since Mr Darcy dismisses Elizabeth the moment he sets eyes upon her. Clearly, even in Jane Austen’s time women were judged in the first instance by their appearance.

    The relationship between Mr Darcy and Elizabeth at the first stage of their courtship is very restrained. He judges her and he is ascendant Trainspotting he judges her but then the girl quickly gains authority over Renton. Mr Collins’ proposal follows a textbook convention; as if he is following a manual. First he obtains Mrs Bennet’s permission to propose to Elizabeth. Then he sets out his reasons for marriage as if he were arranging a business transaction. In order to impress Elizabeth he refers to Lady Catherine de Bourgh a lot which shows his connections to the upper classes.

    Mr Collins’ proposal is most unconventional because he never says anything about Elizabeth. Furthermore it seems most unromantic to court a woman by asking her to consider her position when her father and mother die. It is difficult to imagine anything so different to how things develop in Trainspotting. When Elizabeth rejects Mr Collins, he returns to the beginning of his textbook and tries again to propose to Elizabeth but this time with a little more feeling but still as if he were following his manual. Mr Darcy’s proposal contains no talk of business and has more feeling.

    In a general sense Mr Darcy uses a more unconventional approach. Mr Darcy’s courtship is more complex, since on one hand he expresses himself with more feeling than Mr Collins, but on the other hand he addresses Elizabeth as if she were inferior. Furthermore, his courtship is unconventional due to their different social classes Could you expect me to rejoice in the inferiority of your connections? Mr Darcy is actually hypocritical in proposing to Elizabeth, since he had tried his utmost to prevent Mr Bingley from marrying Elizabeth’s sister on the grounds that Jane was socially inferior to Mr Bingley.

    It appears that there is one rule for Mr Bingley and another rule for Mr Darcy. I have no wish of denying, I did everything in my power to separate my friend from your sister, or that I rejoice in my success. In Pride and Prejudice it is evident from Mrs Bennet’s concern over her daughters that a woman who was still unmarried at the age of twenty-four was considered in danger of becoming a spinster. However, in Trainspotting it is clear from the age and status of Renton’s friends that twenty-four years of age is still considered young and young and reasonable for an unmarried woman.

    In this sonnet by Drayton a different type of courtship is desired. Drayton follows the convention of expressing love in the form of a sonnet his purpose is to seduce a woman. He uses language most romantically Me thinks this time becommeth lovers best; He even uses the word ‘ordaind’ to suggest that religion would not oppose them spending the night together. He talks about romantic subjects and how the night separates them and not about how the woman may not actually want to be with him at night.

    He has stuck to the convention of putting charming words and phrases in his sonnet such as ‘returns unto his love’ to ensure that the woman will be seduced by the end of the sonnet. Drayton addresses the lady as ‘Deere’ and the poem is written as if he is talking directly to his lover, this is just the kind of romantic intimacy that Shakespeare has inverted the usual sensual descriptions of a mistress so that ‘her breasts are dun. ‘ Shakespeare’s rhyming scheme and use of iambic pentameter is the same as Drayton’s, yet it achieves the opposite effect.

    The very first line of Shakespeare’s sonnet is obviously a parody. My mistress’ eyes are nothing like the sun; It would be more conventional to write that, my mistress’ eyes are like the Sun. The word ‘nothing’ in this context is entirely unromantic and unconventional for a sonnet. We then looked at Shakespeare’s sonnet that is conventional in form but quite unconventional in content, he talks about how the woman’s hair is as thick as wires and her ‘breath reeks’. He has written a parody of a normal sonnet and has turned the content around to demean of women.

    He has also stuck to the strict form for sonnets, as he wants it to be recognised as such. We also looked at Tony Kytes – The Arch Deceiver this has a big shift in prospective as there is a narrator that is telling the story in first person. Which is different to all of the other pieces of prose that we looked at, in Trainspotting there was a narrator but it was not in first person and the extracts of Pride and Prejudice that we looked at were all in third person. This story is all in first person of the narrator and in third person of Tony.

    The story is very contradictory, Tony is a serious person but he is very interested in women and they do not take him very seriously we can know this when the narrator says ‘he loved them in shoals’. When Tony is finally ‘fixed down’ he if ‘fixed’ with Milly, who sound very gullible and naïve, she has been taken in by Tony’s promise of marriage. Just as in Pride and Prejudice, all of the women mentioned all look good, it seems that all of the women have been primarily judged by their looks, ‘handsome girl’ is used to describe Tony’s ex girlfriend Unity.

    When the story journey starts unity is the first girl that we meet and we see that she is quite a nice looking girl and the narrator mentions that Tony used to go out with her and was close to marrying her. When she goes into the carriage she instantly starts questioning Tony about his choice. We can see that Tony is quite affected by Unity’s looks, ‘he let his eyes light on her’ this shows that he may be reconsidering his marriage proposal to Milly. When he sees Milly walking down the road he suddenly asks Unity to get into the back of the carriage and in return he tells her that he may reconsider his proposal to Milly.

    We then see that one of Tony’s first girlfriends is walking down the road and she asks for a lift. The only way that he was able to get Milly in the back of the carriage in the empty sack was to use their marriage and his proposal as a bargaining tool Now, Milly would you do me a favour – my coming wife as I may say? The reason that they accept this is that they will have a husband and for this they will do anything. When he tells Hannah that he may marry her and break things off with Milly. Milly hears this and starts to make noises as if it were to warn Tony that she is there and he should not say anything like that. n the next part Tony starts to wonder why he ever thought of asking Milly or Unity to marry him as Hannah is so attractive.

    Even now the appearance counts for most of the decision in which woman Tony wants to marry. Tony is very conventional as he knows exactly what the woman wants to hear and he uses this fully to his advantage. This story captures properly the excitement of youth romance and how it is based on looks and not on personality. When we get the first description of Milly it says that she is described as ‘light’ and ‘small’ which are not the best descriptions for an attractive woman.

    Tony is able to juggle with the three women in his wagon quite well as he lasts quite a long time without them even noticing each other with this the reader is always left guessing what will happen next in the minute of the story. We can see that the courtship that has taken place is quite unconventional as the girl that Tony finally marries has accepted him after all of the other girls have declined him and she has no ‘spirit’ and says yes to him. That was the last piece that we looked at and I can see that convention plays a very big part in courtship as it can be used well to your advantage Tony and it can be used very badly Mr Collins.

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    How convention dictates courtship. (2018, May 26). Retrieved from

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