Sunday, October 13, 2019

Free Pride and Prejudice Essays: Narrative Techniques :: Pride Prejudice Essays

Narrative Techniques of Pride and Prejudice This essay will focus on Chapter 53 or Vol III, Chapter 11, depending upon the edition of the novel. This passage is taken from Bingley and Darcy's first visit to Longbourn after their return to Meryton. The passage focuses on Mrs Bennet's foolishness and Elizabeth's feelings about the proceedings. Mrs Bennet's speeches in the passage point to her ignorance, which is part of Austen's narrative technique of letting characters reveal themselves through their speech. The effect is particularly comic due to Mrs. Bennet's utter ignorance, which manifests itself in moral insensitivity, as seen in her belief that Lydia is "well married" in her disgraceful union with Wickham, and in lack of simple knowledge, as seen in her commenting that Newcastle is "a place quite northward, it seems." Because of this, she manages to be obsequiously polite yet quite rude, as we can see from the contrast between her invitation for Bingley to shoot birds on Mr Bennet's manor "When you have killed all your own birds" and her insult to Darcy that Wickham has "not so many [friends] as he deserves." Austen uses a similar treatment for Mr Collins, whose sycophantic language is even used when he is criticising Elizabeth's class [?] in his proposal to her, and whose excessive praise makes him utterly ridiculo us. The length of Mrs Bennet's speeches betray[s] the fact that although she says much, she thinks and means very little, [very good.] a technique which is repeated in Mr Collins's speeches and letters and on Lady Catherine's argument against Elizabeth marrying Darcy on her visit to Longbourn. This is emphasised here by the fact that she is the only one quoted in direct speech as speaking aloud in the whole passage. Despite Elizabeth's sense, her own feelings are kept to herself while her mother chatters away indiscreetly on anything that enters her mind. Elizabeth's poor reasoning as she listens to her mother disgrace herself shows the extent of her shame and misery. Although this scene is largely seen from the viewpoint of Elizabeth, Austen sometimes speaks as the omniscient narrator to reveal little ironies about Elizabeth herself. For example, after Elizabeth feels that "The first wish of my heart... is never more to be in company with either of them", which the reader should know to be silly, especially with regard to

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