What is Decorum in literature?

“Decorum” is a literary term used to describe the appropriateness of a character’s speech, actions, and behavior in a particular situation, based on social or cultural norms.

In literature, decorum is often used to help create realistic and believable characters who behave in ways that are consistent with their social status, personality, and background. For example, a noble character in a historical novel would be expected to speak and act in a way that reflects their rank and education, while a lower-class character would be expected to use more informal language and behave in a way that is appropriate for their station in life.

Decorum can also be used to create contrast or irony in a story. For example, a character who behaves in a way that is inappropriate for their social status or situation may be seen as foolish or comical, while a character who behaves in a way that is overly formal or rigid may be seen as uptight or unapproachable.

example of decorum in literature:

In Jane Austen’s novel “Pride and Prejudice,” decorum plays an important role in shaping the behavior and interactions of the characters. The novel is set in early 19th-century England, and the characters are expected to adhere to strict social norms and codes of behavior. For example, Mr. Darcy is seen as overly formal and reserved, while Elizabeth Bennet is seen as more lively and outgoing. As the novel progresses, the character’s behavior and speech become more relaxed and informal, reflecting their growing familiarity and affection for one another. The use of decorum in “Pride and Prejudice” helps to create a sense of realism and authenticity, while also highlighting the tensions and social conventions of the time period.

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