How do men and women of this class spend theirĀ  time, and what forms of social behaviour were important?

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slchanmo1885 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

During the course of the novel, the men and women of Darcy and Bingley's social class spend their leisure time in very frivolous ways. The balls, or dances, play an important role in the novel, as that is where many of the romances begin. Darcy, unlike many of his social class, dislikes balls and cannot easily make conversation or socialize with people he doesn't know. The balls are very important because it gives young men and women a chance to meet each other. The men and women also spend time playing card games and reading. When Jane is sick and Elizabeth stays with Bingley, she socializes with them by doing these activities. The women, noteably Miss Bingley, try to spend this time flirting with the men and trying to gain their attention. Darcy, in particular, spends this time in intellectual pursuits, reading. There are other instances in the novel where people "call upon" one another, that is, they stop by to visit each other at their homes. This is an important social behavior, because it allows young men to call upon women they would like to court, and it allows people like Mrs. Bennet to try to introduce themselves and befriend people of higher social standing.

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Pride and Prejudice

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