• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

A Sense of Place in Austen's Pride and Prejudice

Extracts from this document...


A Sense of Place in Austen's Pride and Prejudice by Emily Wood March 03, 2003 Place: The particular portion of space occupied by or allocated to a person or thing. It is interesting to observe Dictionary.com's definition of the word "place" in relation to "person". Especially when it comes to Pride and Prejudice, where Austen has made great use of the objective correlative technique, in which many, if not all, of her settings considerably reflect the characteristics of their owners. She additionally employs several other techniques regarding the sense of place in her novel, which are important not only in the facilitation of numerous plot points, but also in establishing and understanding her characters and their relationships. So what are these techniques, and why are they so effective? To find the answers to such questions, we should look closely at Austen's methods of incorporating a sense of place into her novel. The technique of objective correlative is often used in establishing the qualities of a character by having them reflected in that character's surroundings. These can be material objects, belongings, or in Austen's case, locations. If we take a look at the setting of Rosings, we see that it is described as ostentatious, overwhelming, and, in comparison to Pemberley, the other grand country estate, rather garish: From the entrance hall, of which Mr. Collins pointed out, with a rapturous air, the fine proportion and finished ornaments, they followed the servants.... ...read more.


Darcy himself. Though at first seemingly proud and haughty, he is in actuality a decent fellow, well-dressed (though not overly showy), and very down to earth. Through this description of Pemberley, we see Elizabeth's comfort in her surroundings (as opposed to her unease at Rosings), and once again, through this technique, are able see (from later in the book) that she will be at ease with Mr. Darcy himself. Almost all of the settings in Pride and Prejudice reflect their owners effectively, with Longbourn House being relatively plain and simple, similar to Mr. and Mrs. Bennet; Brighton, the loud and flashy seaside town where Lydia ends up with Wickham; and lesser-known settings such as Ramsgate, a quiet and isolated place in Kent, much like Georgiana Darcy herself. Other than the usage of the objective correlative, Austen creates a sense of balance in her story by having several notable events occur outside, while other, less significant events take place in the interior. Events such as Darcy's giving of the letter to Elizabeth, numerous encounters, and his infamous second proposal occur during walks outside in the garden. This is most interesting, as it is the events that take place in the vast open spaces of the garden that accumulate to the important decisions regarding Elizabeth's future, whereas less important events, such as Mr. Collins' proposal, occur within the boundaries of the inner recesses. ...read more.


Wickham), each party must first think about the right thing to say, and thus eliminate any sense of spontaneity. This allows for many other events to take place, such as misunderstandings between characters, and delays a lot of the action, ensuring that mistakes cannot be corrected immediately. For instance, if Jane and Elizabeth were constantly in the same place, the latter would simply be able to tell Jane of her misapprehensions regarding Miss Bingley, and much of that storyline would be lost. Pride and Prejudice is a novel in which Jane Austen has used several techniques concerning the sense of place to create a fine novel of mannerisms, misjudgements, and mayhem. Through usage of the objective correlative, readers can gain a great deal of insight into the characters themselves, and thus further enjoy the novel with an enhanced understanding of Austen's creations. She also establishes a sense of balance by having the more influential events of the story take place in the openness of the great outdoors, and those of less import occur within the boundaries of the inside. Additionally, Austen has her characters travel to various parts of Great Britain, which allows for correspondence in the form of letters (serving to facilitate the necessary delay of action) and for mistakes to be made. Austen has made great use of the sense of place in Pride and Prejudice, and her techniques coalesce to deepen the reader's understanding, to give a sense of balance, and to effectively enhance the enjoyment of a delightful story. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Jane Austen section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Jane Austen essays

  1. Marked by a teacher

    Plot-Construction of Pride and Prejudice

    4 star(s)

    Charles Bingley. The sub-plot of the Jane-Bingley relationship attracts greater interest for some time. They meet at a ball, are attracted towards each other and their intimacy grows through dinner-parties, balls, etc. All this while, however, the events of the main plot also gather interest.

  2. Do you believe that Austen's final title; Pride and Prejudice is a more appropriate ...

    However, Elizabeth is not receptive to this advice at least at the beginning of the book: just as in relation to Wickham, she believes he can do no wrong even when her sister Jane warns that she has heard "he is by no means a respectable young man."

  1. The Impact of First Impressions - Pride and Prejudice

    Following the pattern of Mr. Darcy, Mr. Wickham's opening character fooled Elizabeth. Unlike Darcy, however, Elizabeth's initial notion of his personality was much better, and morally sounder than that of the real Wickham. Upon meeting Wickham, Elizabeth thought him to be a gentleman.

  2. Discuss the Relationship between John and Elizabeth Proctor and its Presentation. In What Ways ...

    also make the audience feel for John and Elizabeth, they as the audience know it will end soon. The audience is shown that Elizabeth has truly forgiven John and has come to realise some of her own failings. At the very end of the play, I think her attitude towards

  1. What methods does Austen use to tell the story in Pride and Prejudice Chapter ...

    Here Jane Austen expresses the beauty of the grounds as "a beautiful wood" and "a large handsome stone building". This automatically has an effect on Elizabeth's views. Although she was excited she still did not look forward to meeting its owner as Austen using a showing method informs the readers about Elizabeth's feelings.

  2. Irony in "Pride and Prejudice"

    that Mr Darcy has no defect. He owns it himself without disguise." Her subtle mockery of flawed characters, such as the sententious and hypocritical Mr Collins, is often in conjunction with that of the narrator or Mr Bennet, and so the comic irony is augmented by the enjoyment of a

  1. Madame Bovary and Techniques in Fiction

    Narrative Style: Time and Pace in Fiction Flaubert told the story in a very reasonable fashion. He did not speed up quickly and leave out details nor did he go to slow and let each scene drag on. Each scene was perfectly proportional to the amount of dialogue and the narration.

  2. The Mayor of Casterbridge - Chapter Summaries

    Meanwhile, Michael, who has heard the singing, believes that he would give anything to make the young man stay as a cure for his own loneliness. Analysis: Chance appears to play another vital role in this chapter. Farfrae just happens to be able to entertain the guests with his songs,

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work