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Literary Techniques in Pride & Prejudice
Transcript of Literary Techniques in Pride & Prejudice
"It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife" (Austen 1).
This statement is ironic because in the novel, it is not the man seeking a woman, but the other way around. Women in this society, especially those of lower classes, were almost obsessed with finding a man who could allow them a comfortable lifestyle. The novel as a whole is about love between people of different classes in society.
"She was a woman of mean understanding, little information, and uncertain temper. When she was discontented she fancied herself nervous. The business of her life was to get her daughters married; its solace was visiting and news." (Austen 3)
Austen develops her characters very thoroughly, adding depth to the story and plot. In this particular quote, Mrs. Bennet is portrayed as oversensitive and passionate about finding husbands for her daughters. Austen uses characterization as one of her main techniques in the novel in order to strengthen the ideas and themes she presented.
"Your profusion makes me saving; and if you lament over him much longer, my heart will be as light as a feather" (Austen 152).
Austen uses few similes in the novel. This simile represents an exaggeration in order to engage the reader and provide a comparison. The similes are used to help the reader understand a character's emotions and feelings at a certain scene in the novel.
"Smiles decked the face of Mrs. Bennet, as the carriage drove up to the door; her husband looked impenetrably grave; her daughters, alarmed, anxious, uneasy." (Austen 210)
Imagery is one of the most common techniques used by Austen in this novel, most often used to portray a character's emotions and feelings. This allows the reader to imagine the scenario and get a better understanding of the characters and their actions.
“Oh, my dear Eliza! Pray make haste and come into the dining-room, for there is such a sight to be seen!” (Austen 152)
Austen uses alliteration in her novel in order to emphasize certain thoughts or actions. This causes certain sentences to stand out to the reader and help them remember important parts of the story.
"Bingley was sure of being liked wherever he appeared, Darcy was continually giving offence" (Austen 10).
Austen uses this foil in order to make Bingley seem better than Darcy by contrast. By giving Darcy offensive qualities, Bingley's likable qualities are emphasized. This causes the reader to form opinions about both characters and understand why many people like Bingley better than Darcy at the beginning of the novel.
Point of View
"More than once did Elizabeth in her ramble within the Park, unexpectedly meet Mr. Darcy.-She felt all the perverseness of the mischance that should bring him where no one else was brought" (Austen 124).
Told from the 3rd person omniscient point of view, Austen allows the reader to know the thoughts and feelings of each character in every circumstance that arises. The narration mainly revolves around Elizabeth and her feelings.
"For what do we live, but to make sport for our neighbours, and laugh at them in our turn?" (Austen 245)
Prejudice is a recurring element in the novel, and each character must overcome some type of prejudice in order to reach their goal. This element allows the reader to relate to the novel and each of the characters within it.
"I love him. Indeed he has no improper pride. He is perfectly amiable. You do not know what he really is; then pray do not pain me by speaking of him in such terms." (Austen 254)
A common theme in the novel is that of love. When Elizabeth falls in love with Darcy, she does all she can to convince her father that he is a good man and that they were wrong about him. The theme of love allows readers to relate to the novel and understand her feelings toward Darcy.
"...with weary ancles, dirty stockings, and a face glowing with the warmth of exercise. She was shewn into the breakfast-parlour, where all but Jane were assembled, and where her appearance created a great deal of surprise." (Austen 21)
Austen uses satire in this novel to ridicule the social norms of society. In this scene, for instance, she shows the surprise of everyone upon the entrance of Elizabeth, who was not dressed appropriately to be seen in such a sophisticated household.