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Pride and Prejudice

The novel ‘Pride and Prejudice’, was published in the year 1813 by an English novelist, Jane Austen. The plot rotates around the main character, Elizabeth Bennet, as she dwells on the issues concerning manners shaped by social decorum, morality, social status, and mostly on the dependence of women towards marriage to ensure financial stability.

The novel was written during the English Regency, which encompasses the years 1811 to 1820. During these years, people, especially women, give marriage the utmost importance because women’s financial survival depends on it, since women have no power of earning money, they considered marrying as a duty. When I write my admission essay about ‘Pride and Prejudice’ I use some advice from writing service. So, read my review.

In the novel, public occasions, specifically dancing or balls, play a very important role in finding a spouse because it allows men and women to have a private conversation, thus, acquainting them with each other. Other than this occurrence, there is no possible event in which women are allowed to be acquainted with men, since a lady must wait to be introduced to a gentleman because she is not allowed to introduce herself. Love only develops during instances when both man and woman are left to converse alone. There is none proper tradition of getting a woman’s hand, as suggested by the novel. 

On the other hand, in the Philipines, on the same year the “Pride and Prejudice’ was written, proper seeking of a Filipina’s hand is very essential. Unlike balls and private conversations, seeking a woman’s hand in the Philippines is bounded by certain traditions. “Tuksuhan (teasing) is a means for 'feeling out' a woman's attitude about an admirer or suitor”. If the woman denies the man’s feelings and start avoiding him, the man’s persuasion over the woman is hopeless. The positive side of this is that he does not place himself in the spot of embarrassment because he did not immediately state his feelings towards the woman he like.  “Filipinos, as much as possible, avoid losing their faces. Basted (from English busted) is the Tagalog slang for someone who fails to reach 'first base' in courting a girl because she does not have any feelings for him to begin with.”

However, if the woman suggests intentions of accepting her suitor, then the suitor can instantly court her and the ‘tuksuhan’ eventually ceases. The man, then, is allowed to do the next ‘serious’ step, which is the “panliligaw or ligawan, the Tagalog terms for courtship, and the romance begins.” The man has to visit the woman’s family and introduce himself formally to her parents. It is expected for a man to show himself in the woman’s family, since it would be very informal for a man to court a woman without informing the woman’s parents. It has been believed, that in the Philippines, “courting a Filipina means courting her family as well”. In some cases, Filipino men would perform “harana ( serenade) to the women at night and sing songs of love and affection (kundiman) to her. A” 'home-run' is one where the girl formally accepts the man's love, and they become magkasintahan (from sinta, love), a term for boyfriend-girlfriend”. After a very time-consuming courtship, if the couple decides to commit themselves with each other and marry, the Filipino tradition of pamamanhikan (from panik, to go up the stairs of the house), wherein the man and his parents visit the woman's family and ask for her parents blessings to marry their daughter, and at the same time, an occasion for the parents of the woman to get to know the parents of the man. During this event, the man and his parents offer pasalubong (gifts) to the woman and her family. In this period, the wedding date is formally settled.

In the perspective of a 21st century-woman, these customs and traditions about marriage and courtship, both during the English Regency and in the Philippine context, are rarely practiced today. Mobile messaging and Computer Mediated Communication (CMC) through social media, became the medium of ‘courtship’ which involves neither efforts nor assured sincerity, and intentions are screened by monitors and keypads which results then, mostly, to unsuccessful relationships and even marriages.

Marriage is ever dynamic due to the changing time, and is not solely bounded by a universal belief but of local traditions as well.

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