How do social protocol amongst the sexes and status in society define a person’s reputation?
Social protocol deems what is appropriate in society for each gender in both novels. This protocol can be different for each gender. In addition, behavior dictating by societal rules is not the only factor because status also plays a key role. Status is dictated by wealth and family name. Therefore, as a whole status and social protocol by gender determine the reputation of a particular person in these novels.
Daisy Miller = They treat the courier as a familiar friend as a gentleman and a scholar. (21)
In Daisy Miller, it is looked down upon to be friendly towards those who work for you. That is seen as something someone of low class would do. In wealthy society, it is simply improper, and those who engage in that type of activity are judged and frowned upon.
Daisy Miller = Shes completely uneducated. (21).
In Daisy Miller, education is a key determinant in someones reputation. Often someones status is dictated off of how educated they are, and vice versa. Those who have access to a good education are generally wealthy members of society, especially a couple of centuries back when this novel took place. Daisy Miller is therefore judged, for she is ill educated. This affects her status and reputation.
Daisy Miller = Everything thats not done here. Flirting with any man she can pick up (semicolon) sitting in corner with mysterious Italian (sc) dancing all the evening with the same partners (sc) receiving visits as eleven oclock at night. (55)
These are examples of inappropriate behavior that is a direct cause of Daisy Millers bad reputation. While in America, it may be okay to flirt with men. However, in Europe it is deemed as improper. Therefore, one must go by the social protocol of the area, or else judgements will be passed. Daisy Miller is a victim of these judgements through violating the social protocol of the European society.
Daisy Miller = The poor girls only fault…is her complete lack of education. (56)
As explained above in the tree, education is a key determinant of reputation. Both males and females if ill educated as deemed as common. Therefore, their status is lessened, unless further educated. This, in consequence, affects reputation.
Daisy Miller = Well…when you deal with natives you must go by the custom of the country. American flirting is a purely American silliness (sc) it has in its ineptitude of innocence no place in this system. So when you show yourself in public with Mr. Giovanelli and without your mother. (62)
In Daisy Miller, when Giovanelli says This system he is discussing social protocol of this particular country. American customs differ from European customs. Therefore , Daisy Miller must change her behavior to be suitable to European society, or she will (and she does) ruin her reputation.
Daisy Miller = Mrs. Miller was humbly unconscious of any rupture of any law or of any deviation from any custom.(63)
In Daisy Miller, the Millers are generally ignorant of their violation to social protocol. This ignorance causes them to be victims of the harsh judgement passed by other wealthy members of the society. Therefore, the whole family obtains a bad name.
This is an infographic indicating the various determinants of reputation through social protocol and status depending on gender.
Pride and Prejudice = He was the proudest, most disagreeable man in the world, and every body hoped that he would never come there again. (13)
One of the determinants of reputation for males in both novels is manners. Mr. Darcy, here, does not have the polite and friendly manners, and therefore his reputation is being tarnished.
Pride and Prejudice = That she should have walked three miles so early in the day, in such dirty weather, and by herself, was almost incredible to Mrs. Hurst and Miss Bingley. (33)
When Elizabeth walked to see Jane ill with the Bingleys, this was seen as socially unacceptable. A lady should not be walking around for a long distance when she should have taken a carriage. This is a violation of social protocol.
Pride and Prejudice = It seems to show an abominable sort of conceited independence, a most country town indifference to decorum. (37)
Elizabeth walks to see Jane, and the Bingleys and Darcys begin to have an ill opinion of her behavior. She is adopting a wild reputation.
Pride and Prejudice = A woman must have a thorough knowledge of music, singing, drawing, dancing, and the modern languages, to deserve the word (sc) and, besides all this, she must possess a certain something in her air and manner of walking, the tone of her voice, her address and expressions, or the word will be but half deserved. (40)
In both novels, these skills line up with the key elements that determine a woman’s reputation.
Pride and Prejudice = Elizabeth…believed enough to make her former assurance of her sisters ruin still more certain (285).
Lydia eloped, which is socially unacceptable, and therefore this causes the development of her bad reputation.
Therefore, how does this reputation play the greatest role in marriage?
Determining a marriage partner is largely dictated by reputation in these novels. If someone has a reputation for being rich, they are seen as more appealing as a partner for marriage. In addition, if a girl has a bad reputation males will be warned that she is not a suitable partner. All of this decision making in marriage is based off of the idea of reputation in these novels.
Daisy Miller = Evidently she was rather wild. (21)
Example of development of bad reputation
Daisy Miller = I must decline the honour of her acquaintance. (22)
Daisy Millers reputation begins to affect her relations with others.
Daisy Miller = Well, the girl tears about alone with her unmistakable low foreigners. (40)
This behavior is socially unacceptable, and she begins to be talked about. People pass judgement against her, and her reputation is tarnished.
Daisy Miller = That crazy girl mustn’t do this sort of thing. She mustn’t walk here with you town men. Fifty people have remarked her. (52)
Again, Daisy Miller is violating rules and society, and people are beginning to notice.
Daisy Miller = You’re old enough to be more reasonable. You’re old enough, dear Miss Miller, to be talked about. (53)
This is showing the spread of reputation throughout the people in Daisy Miller.
Pride and Prejudice = They were rather handsome (sc) had been educated in one of the first private seminaries in town (sc) had a fortune of twenty thousands (sc) (17)
In this novel, this is yet another example of how reputation and fortune dictates a females interest in males.
Pride and Prejudice = Her manners were pronounced to be very bad indeed, a mixture of pride and impertinence (colon) she had no conversation, no style, no taste, no beauty. (36)
This is another example of the formation of a bad reputation.
Pride and Prejudice = He can be a conversible companion if he thinks it worth his while. Among those who are at all his equal in consequence, he is a very different man from what he is to the less prosperous. (83)
Mr. Darcy will not associate with those who are not of his status, therefore affecting who he can have potential relationships with.
Pride and Prejudice = Seriously, I would have you be on your guard. Do not invoke yourself, or endeavor to involve him, in an affection which the want of fortune would make so very imprudent. I have nothing to say against him (colon) he is a most interesting young man (sc) and if he had the fortune he ought to have, I should think you could do no better. (144)
Apparently, Elizabeth can do no better than Mr. Darcy because he has such a large fortune. His rich reputation gains him interest from many females.
Pride and Prejudice = They agree with me in apprehending that this false step in one daughter will be injurious to the fortune of all the other (sc) for who, as Lady Catherine herself condescendingly says, will connect themselves with such a family? (287).
Lydias elopement with Wickham is hurting the entire Bennet family. This reputation will affect future marriages, for no one will want to associate with a family with so reckless a daughter.
How does this cause true love to be inconsequential?
Since reputation plays the greatest role in determining someone to marry, true love is put to the side in these novels. They often portray the idea of true love as inconsequential. Two people do not have to be in love to get married. The most important factor is what status these people will be at, and what fortune they will have. Many people marry just for this reputation of wealth, rather than actually loving their marriage partner.
Daisy Miller = I wanted to enjoin on you the importance of your ceasing your relations with Miss Miller (sc) that of your not appearing flirt with her (sc) that of your giving her no further opportunity to expose herself (56)
Giovanelli is advised not to engage in relations with Daisy Miller because of her bad reputation and ill behavior.
Daisy Miller = And her picture of the minutely hierarchical constitution of the society of that city…He at once recognized from her tone that Miss Daisy Millers place in the social scale was low. (20)
Giovanelli takes into account that Daisy Miller has a low social status. This affects the way other people see her.
Pride and Prejudice = I wish with all my heart she were well settled. But with such a father and mother, and such low connections, I am afraid there is no chance of it. (37)
The Bingleys and Darcys are hoping Jane to have a fair chance at a fortune, but they feel as though their common reputation and minimal wealth may make it too difficult to find a marriage partner.
Pride and Prejudice = But it must very materially lessen their chance of marrying men of any consideration in the world. (38)
This is similar to the quote above. The Bennet girls have less of a chance of marrying someone wealthy because they are not too wealthy themselves.
Pride and Prejudice = I am not romantic, you know. I never was. I ask only a comfortable home (sc) and, considering Mr Collinss character, connections, and situation in life, I am convince that my chance of happiness with him is as fair as most people can boast on entering the marriage state. (125)
Charlotte does not care about true love. She simply wants a to make a comfortable life for herself. Therefore, she marries Mr. Collins for security rather than affection.
Pride and Prejudice = If it were not allowable for him to gain my affection, because I had no money, what occasion could there be for making love to a girl whom he did not care about, and who was equally poor. (153)
Elizabeth is talking about Wickham here. Everyone seems to accept the fact that he is solely searching for a marriage partner because of money. His fortune is minimal, and therefore he is seeking a wealthy partner.
Pride and Prejudice = …now, at the moment when the wishes of both sisters would be accomplished, in their marriage, to be prevented by a young woman of inferior birth, of no importance in the world, and wholly unallied to the family! (344)
Lady Catherine is appalled that Mr. Darcy may marry Elizabeth. She views that her daughter should marry him, not because of feelings, but simply because she has a better status than Elizabeth. She is appalled that Mr. Darcy could consider someone so inferior.
Pride and Prejudice = They are descended, on the maternal side, form the same noble line (sc) and, thought untitled, families. Their fortune on both sides is splendid. They are destined for each other by the voice of every member of their respective houses. (345)
This is the argument Lady Catherine presents Elizabeth with as to why her daughter is a more suitable candidate to be Mr. Darcys wife. It is solely based off of reputation and status.
This explains what I am trying to show relationships between in my inquiry. Social status and societal rules determine someones reputation. This reputation affects who one will marry. The direct cause and effect of each, leaves room for true love. So is true love inconsequential to marriage in the end?