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Irony in "Pride and Prejudice"

Choice book presentation for Jane Austen's "Pride and Prejudice".

Claire Berendzen

on 10 December 2012

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Transcript of Irony in "Pride and Prejudice"

Irony in "Pride and Prejudice" Synopsis "Pride and Prejudice" by Jane Austen is the story of Elizabeth Bennet and her family living in England in the early 1800s. Elizabeth experiences problems with prejudice, especially regarding an acquaintance, Mr. Darcy. Throughout the book, her misconceptions are proved horribly wrong. Rationale I'm choosing to present this as a Prezi because I think Prezis are quite interesting and are good at keeping thoughts organized. Presenting irony in this way is just an easy way to keep the different kinds of irony and explanations organized in a clean and resourceful way. I chose irony because "Pride and Prejudice" is full of all kinds of irony, and the irony of the story as a whole is what makes the book so unpredictably enjoyable. I think that I deserve an A because I am very thorough and analyze all types of irony used in the book. Situational Irony Verbal Irony Dramatic Irony "Pride and Prejudice" is positively brimming with situational irony. The most prime example is probably when Elizabeth is staying at a friend's house. She absolutely hates Mr. Darcy for numerous reasons; she believes he hates her too, and when he visits her the readers are completely expecting him to be rude. What happens instead: Darcy says, "'You must allow me to tell you how ardently I admire and love you (Austen 186).'" After this, he asks for her hand in marriage. Elizabeth and the readers are completely shocked because it seemed as if before, Darcy's pride caused him to loathe her. Apparently, though, this was not the case whatsoever. Another example of situational irony is when Darcy gives Elizabeth a letter after she rejects his proposal. When Elizabeth opens it, she expects ridiculous excuses for his wrong-doings, as do the readers. What really happened was the letter ending up being a complete explanation of his actions, which was, once again, extremely unexpected. "Pride and Prejudice" also includes much verbal irony. Elizabeth uses it frequently in her witty and sharp comments. Also, her father uses it quite a lot. When Elizabeth received a marriage proposal from the man who would inherit the Bennet estate (Wickham), her father mentions that Wickham is a "pleasant fellow". In reality, Mr. Bennet hates Wickham and finds him to be unbearable, which shows that he said exactly the opposite of what he meant. Also, when Elizabeth was talking to Darcy (this was when they both seemed to hate each other), he mentioned that he only know about six truly accomplished woman. Elizabeth replies saying, "'Then, you must comprehend a great deal in your idea of an accomplished woman (Austen 36)." She says this in complete sarcasm because she really believes that Darcy cannot know what he wants in a woman because no woman could ever be good enough for him. The dramatic irony in "Pride and Prejudice" mainly occurs in the first few chapters. When Jane, Elizabeth, Darcy, and Caroline Bingley are all together in a friend Charles Bingley's house, Elizabeth is usually alone with Jane. While she is gone, Darcy makes comments that show the reader that despite what Elizabeth thinks, Darcy is at least slightly fond of her. For example, when Caroline, Bingley and Darcy are discussing how unkempt Elizabeth looked when she arrived, Caroline mentions that her state probably made Darcy think less of her "fine eyes", to which Darcy replied: "'They were brightened by the exercise (Austen 33).'" This shows that Darcy liked Elizabeth, but in later scenes only the reader knows this, but Elizabeth does not. The end

If you haven't read Pride and Prejudice,
definitely read it. It's quite worth it.

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