Pride And Prejudice

Pride And Prejudice In Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen, the emphasis is on irony, in its exposure of foolishness and the importance of social values. Jane Austen’s irony is devastating in its exposure of foolishness. There are various forms of exquisite irony in Pride and Prejudice, sometimes the characters are unconsciously ironic, as when Mrs. Bennet seriously asserts that she would never accept any entailed property, though Mr. Collins is willing to.”Often Mr. Bennet and Elizabeth serve to directly express the author’s ironic opinion” (Trevor 352).

When Mary Bennet is the only daughter at home and does not have to be compared with her prettier sisters, the author notes that: “it was suspected by her father that she submitted to the change without much reluctance” (Austen 189). Mr. Bennet turns his wit on himself during the crisis with Whickham and Lydia: “let me once in my life feel how much I have been to blame.I am not afraid of being overpowered by the impression. It will pass away soon enough”(Austen 230). Elizabeth’s irony is lighthearted when Jane asks when she began to love Mr.

We Will Write a Custom Essay Specifically
For You For Only $13.90/page!

order now

Darcy: “It has been coming on so gradually that I hardly know when it began. But I believe I must date it from my first seeing his beautiful grounds at Pemberly” (Austen 163).”She can be bitterly cutting however in her remark on Darcy’s role in separating Bingley and Jane” (Bowen 107): “Mr. Darcy is uncommonly kind to Mr.

Bingley, and takes a prodigious deal of care of him” (Austen 202). “The author also independent of any character, uses’ irony in the narrative parts for some of her sharpest judgments” (Bradley 9). The Meryton Community is glad that Lydia is marrying such a worthless man as Whickham: “..and the good nature wishes for her well doing, which had proceed before from all the spiteful old ladies in Meryton, lost but a little of their spirit in this change of circumstances, because with such a husband, her misery was certain” (Austen 270).

“Austen uses irony to provoke gentle, whimsical laughter and to make veiled, bitter observations as well; in her hands’ irony is an extremely effective device for moral evaluation” (Francis 21): “She has Elizabeth say that she hopes she will never laugh at what is wise or good” (Austen 143). The characters on Pride and Prejudice are full of social values. “Every character is measured against the intelligence and sensitivity which eighteen-century people called good sense, and they stand and fall by common consent of the evaluation made by the author” (Hirsch 74). “The characters themselves, the sensible ones, accept this standard, and their relationships are determined by it, Mr.

Bennet cannot be happy with his wife because he does not respect her” (Watt 296): “Mr.Bennet saw his wife, he was thinking about how obstinate she was, how money made her so happy, and how hypocrite she was” (Austen 90). “For this reason he retreats the ridiculousness of his family into sarcasm and carelessness” (Schroer 84). “Elizabeth also feels pained by her family’s folly, and can not help realizing how harmful it is to Lydia’s and her own romances” (Brower 172): “I have bad news for you .. imprudent as a marriage between Mr.

Whickham and our poor Lydia would be, we are now anxious to be assured it has taken place in Scotland” (Austen 262). “Likewise when Charlotte Lucas marries the idiotic Mr. Collins for purely materialistic reasons, Elizabeth knows their friendship can never be the same; they will separate.This stress on good sense brings characters together as well” (Jenkins 289). Jane, Elizabeth, and the Gardiners are tied to each other by affection and an alert confidence in each other’s judgment.

“They can rely on both the mind and the heart of the others’; this sensible and spirited attitude is what draws Darcy to Elizabeth in the first place. Since the quality of good sense is so important for the characters, we should know what it specifically is” (Watt 300). The two characteristics already mentioned, intelligence and sensitivity, are obviously essential.”A sense of responsibility also seems to be part of it” (Hirsch 64).

Mrs. and Mr. Bennet are not sensible when they fail to guide their family.

This responsibility involves a consideration for the feelings of other people which silly characters as Mr.Collins, Lady Catherine de Bourgh, and Lydia Bennet conspicuously lack. “What happens in Pride and Prejudice happens to nearly all of us, embarrassment at the foolishness of relatives, the unsteady feelings of falling in love, and the mortify of suddenly realizing a big mistake” (Bradley 28). “The psychological realism of the novel is revealed in the quick recognition we have of how the characters feel, there is a very convincing view of how an intelligent, feeling person changes, the sensitiveness of how people do feel and act” (Trevor 351); as when Elizabeth and Darcy are angry at each other and how they completely change their minds with the passage of time. English Essays.

Pride And Prejudice

Pride and Prejudice Any man who tries to argue Jane Austen’s ability to draw characters would be undoubtedly a fool, for the author’s talent in that area of prose is hard to match.However even the most ardent fans of Austen will have to agree with the fact that the personages she creates are not appealing to every man.An exception to that trend in this reader’s opinion would be the character of Mr.

Bennet, who by his sharp wit and stark realism alone redeems Pride and Prejudice for any audience who under other circumstances would take no joy in reading any novel by Austen, this one included.In many ways Mr. Bennet stands as a literary monument to the writer’s amazing storytelling ability.While his personality sticks out among others in the novel like a sore thumb, his place in the plot has monumental importance not only to the task of saving an unappreciative reader from boredom but also to the movement and the development of the work as a whole.One of his most meaningful contributions to the plot is the influence he exerts on Elizabeth.

We Will Write a Custom Essay Specifically
For You For Only $13.90/page!

order now

She is obviously his favorite, and probably the only one in his family that he feels real fatherly love for.This is seen from the fact that even though he is often very reserved and distant, the one time he shows emotion it is directed towards her.The act takes place towards the end of the novel, after Darcy announces to him his intention of marriage.The reader first notices that he is not his usual self when Lizzy walks into the library.He is not cool and composed as in other times he is present, but instead is “walking around the room, looking grave and anxious.” (Austen, 334)As he starts to speak it becomes clear just how much Darcy’s announcement affected Mr. Bennet.”My child, let me not have the grief of seeing you unable to respect your partner in life” (Austen, 335) he exclaims, not only admitting the mistake of his marriage but also showing enough love to admit that he doesn’t want the same fate to befall Elizabeth.

This is very important, as a man who is as cynical as Mr. Bennet would not usually own up to any folly this directly and easily, and although he makes several blunders in the course of the plot this is one of only two he acknowledges.Such a self-infraction of his character could only be explained by the fact that he cares for Elizabeth more than he ever shows, more even than the reader ever realizes.Taking into consideration Elizabeth’s perceptive nature the reader is made to understand the true depth of the relationship between her and her father.It would be impossible for her to grow up without noticing the affection that he felt, and not to benefit from it.

Because she is the only child he really cares for, she truly becomes her father’s daughter – smart, witty and realistic.Even as she develops as a person during the progress of the events, the qualities Elizabeth obviously inherited from Mr. Bennet allow her for a better perception of what is really going on inside her.

It is true that she dares to do something her father doesn’t, which is to put the same method of analysis that she uses on other people to herself, but without that skill of interpretation she would not be able to grow and that skill was acquired from none other than her Mr. Bennet.She is, in other words, a direct derivation of her parental genes – the next improved and more modern step up in the evolution of character and abilities exemplified by her father. As mentioned above, Mr. Bennet admits to two mistakes in the course of the novel.

The first one he avows to is his marriage.The second, of course, is his failure in fatherly duties to which he confesses in Chapter VI of Volume III.This instance is different from the other, simply because he really does not loose his composure as he discusses the subject with Elizabeth.The way he chastises Kitty is vintage Mr. Bennet, full of sarcasm and hyperbole to the extent that makes his youngest daughter cry.It is obvious to the reader that he is not really going to prohibit all balls or not allow her to leave the house, and yet at the same time there is a feeling that he really has learned his lesson.He realizes that there is still time to change Kitty for the better, and though his methods might not be as severe as he threatens, his fifth daughter will still benefit from them.

Although all throughout this scene Mr. Bennet shows very few chinks in his armor, his admission is very profound.Not only does he display the guilt he feels for being an irresponsible and distant father but also assumes a part of the blame for the way his family has become.This is the most evident display of this character’s importance to the plot by far.

All through the novel the Bennet family is in an unfavorable way, the mother and the three insensible daughters making continuous fools of themselves.This behavior is generally blamed on the mother being a poor example….. for her offspring, but with Mr.

Bennet’s acknowledgment of poor fathering the condition takes on a new light.Perhaps if he has shown more love and more guidance to his three youngest children they would not be so infected with their mother’s character traits and act more amiably like their older sisters.Perhaps had he have been more caring he would have taken Elizabeth’s advice and prohibited Lydia’s going to Brighton, thereby destroying the whole eloping scheme at the root. Truly, had he been a better father most of the unfortunate predicaments faced by his family could have been prevented, an inference which reveals the true depth of his importance in Pride and Prejudice.Put quite simply, without a character of Mr. Bennet the irresponsible father, Austen would have no plot.Vital to the plot, Mr.

Bennet is also crucial to the reader’s perception of the world that Austen is describing.Most members of this society are greedy and mercenary, and those who are not are so entangled in their own passions that they almost never see the absurdity of the world around them.Mr. Bennet is different however.While being realistic, he also takes great pleasure of observing the sad silliness of the world around him, and poking fun at it on many occasions.”For what do we live, but to make sport for our neighbors, and laugh at them in our turn.

” (Austen, 75) is an expression that could be his life’s motto, as he spends most of his time in his library reading and reflecting on the failures of the realm he lives in.In those rear moments that the audience is allowed to see through Mr. Bennet’s eyes the reader begins to comprehend how truly unbearable and disgusting the society around him is to man like himself – a strong, intelligent, independent man.One almost begins to wonder if he would not react similarly had he been placed in a similar situation as Mr.

Bennet, and in some ways to understand the reason for his failings as a father.While if judged purely by his actions the character may be seen as somewhat of a submissive coward, his words show him to be a man of great ability placed in a losing position.Austen has a purpose behind this set up, which goes hand in hand with this character’s importance as discussed earlier.The purpose is such that in order for Elizabeth to possess the personality that she has in the novel there had to be an influence on her that’s counteractive to the society in which she is raised.This influence had to come from someone who is sufficiently close to her to make a difference, and at the same time old enough to have experience to draw on.The person also had to be positive and strong and at the same time flawed enough as to not be domineering.All these requirements are fulfilled in Mr. Bennet – he’s an intelligent man, disillusioned with the world he lives in and his marriage and driven into retreat by the sheer absurdity of the same.

Thus Austen allows Elizabeth to be sufficiently affected by him and yet have room to develop and grow as a person on her own accord.This of course is crucial to the plot, as Elizabeth would not have been able to fall in love with Darcy had it not been for her change as a person.Though Mr. Bennet is a character who possesses many faults by design of the author, he is also likable by that same design.While he is often very mean to his wife in his direct making fun of her, the reader feels no pity for Mrs. Bennet because she is so fickle and shallow.Instead of feeling sorry, the reader almost feels glad that her constant stream of meaningless and some times embarrassing phrases is checked by her husband’s witty remarks and one liners.A similar situation is created with Mr.

Collins, whom Mr. Bennet is unashamedly amused by during his first call to Longbourn despite the seriousness that the visit carries.Mr. Bennet is glad that “his cousin was as absurd as he hoped” (Austen, 60), and the audience delights with him through that whole scene as he cleverly sets up Collins to make a complete fool out of himself.It is a cruel endeavor, and yet still the reader stay’s on Mr. Bennet’s side readily partaking in his little sin.These little details and plot points are what make Mr. Bennet appealing to not only Austen fans but to any reader of Pride and Prejudice.

While having an immense weight in the plot he also has a large part in the character structure of the novel, a part that is equally if not more important.He has the role that in the old fairy tales would be the role of a wise jester, a comic relief with kernels of truth hidden between the lines of jokes.Without him those who do not appreciate the author’s prose and plot are in danger of boredom as well as missing or misinterpreting some major themes of the book.Mr. Bennet enriches this literary work like no other character, and in this reader’s humble opinion Pride and Prejudice would lose most of its entertainment value without him.

Pride And Prejudice

Pride and PrejudiceJane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, set in Nineteenth century England, is a novel about marriage. Austen’s feminine writing and weaved storyline creates a novel which can be interesting to read and which women especially enjoy. The novel has a strong theme of marriage as a mother (Mrs. Bennet) desperately trying to marry her daughters off. She didn’t care about the quality of the men her daughters were marrying, but was satisfied just as long as they found a man.

When her sixteen-year-old daughter Lydia marries Wickham, she is thrilled and proceeds to make plans for visiting her neighbors with her, despite the fact that they had lived togetherfor over a year without being married, and that Wickham was forced into marrying her. Mrs. Bennet’s strong desire to marry off her children and her unsatisfactory attempts at matchmaking show that in her society, marriage is held in high regard.

We Will Write a Custom Essay Specifically
For You For Only $13.90/page!

order now

It is a person’s personal worth and the transfer of family fortunes that occurs during a marriage in this time that is probably the most important factor, not how the couple gets along or likes each other. Austen plays on this social behavior and seems to be making a statement. Therefore, I believe that Pride and Prejudice is a social satire. The language of Pride and Prejudice is astonishingly simple and the verbiage frugal, especially for the period in which it is written. There is no drastic action or heroic characters; however, Austen convincingly 1 develops character with it, and her characters, each with their own dialogue and languistical nuances, stand apart very well. Another interesting note about her characters is that at the end of the novel, all of her characters are punished or rewarded according to their actions throughout the course of the book.

This shows her moralistic side. This quote, a typical Mr. Bennet speech, occurs when the issue of Kitty going to Brighton is brought up: “This is a parade which does one good; it gives such an elegance to misfortune! Another day I will do the same; I will sit in my library, in my night-cap and powdering gown, and give as much trouble as I can – or, perhaps, I may defer it til Kitty runs away.” Contrasting this to someone like Mrs. Gardiner, as she is quoted here speaking to Elizabeth about Darcy’s estate, one can see a completely different tone and manner of speaking: “My love, should you not like to see a place of which you have heard so much? A place, too, with which so many of your acquaintance are connected. Wickham passed all his youth there, you know.” It must also be noted that her male characters are not nearly as developed and refined as her female ones.

Men never gathered alone to discuss, or have parties – this is reserved for the women. Most of the men aren’t even taken seriously. But I must give credit to Austen, for as Mark Twain once said, “Write what you know about,” and Jane Austen probably wouldn’t have done so well with her men as she did with her women.

This is the basic argument that she is a feminine author, appealing mostly to women. Most importantly, she uses language to make her society’s view a marriage look like a joke as evidenced in the language of Mrs. Bennet and of the Miss Bennets. Furthermore, marriage and matchmaking is downplayed in the novel’s playing with first impressions and their effects.

Had Darcy acted a bit more polite at the first dance and Elizabeth less critical of him, then the 2 two of them would probably been married by Chapter VI and what is now a 250+ page novel would have been a 50 page short story. But, contrary to what the romance novels of the past two hundred years seem to tell us, life is not always like that, and oftentimes our personal prejudices and imperfect selves get in the way of our best will, leaving only our libidious egos to judge. Her treatment of characters helps us to see the shallowness of the peoples of her time. Mrs. Bennet, the matchmaker, makes us laugh at the very notion of marriage between some of the people in the novel.

Kitty and Lydia, however, are caught up in their own frivolous worlds and in the end get what they are eventually seeking, anyway. Lady Catherine, an extremely proud woman, simply looks foolish. Sir William Lucas is the epitome of all that is arrogant and pompous. These characters help to play a part in showing the one-sidedness of the people of this time and in portraying the lack of depth in their marriages, which are usually only for money or prestige. As a conclusion, romance is what a writer like Austen is really good at, and the people of her time would buy it (if it sold well in her time, then she’d be financially worry-free). That is why it is written in the form that it is.

Pride and Prejudice is essentially a satire of social behavior, especially of marriage. What Austen appears to be asking is ‘Can love really be found in society?’ According to her book, it is hardly likely. Even though Darcy and Elizabeth appear happy at the end, it is hard to imagine the Darcy from the first part of the book married to Elizabeth. This long, interwoven theme of marriage can appeal today as social classes and position are factors in people’s marriages – Austen seems to be saying that none of this is important, and one should marry someone that he/she really likes as a person, not as a means of prestige.


I'm Adrienne!

Would you like to get a custom essay? How about receiving a customized one?

Check it out