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A103 Introduction to the Humanities

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A210 - Approaching Literature TMA 01 Pride and Prejudice, vol II, ch xi Analyse this passage, discussing ways in which the narrative voice and dialogue are used. Austen uses various techniques of narration in this passage, which grasps the readers' attention, drawing them into the lives of Elizabeth and Darcy. We can empathise with the varying emotions as this scene unfolds through both dialogue and narrative voice. From lines 1 to 16, we hear Elizabeth becoming increasingly irate as she rebuffs Darcy. The irony of the opening comment that she was attempting to "speak with composure" is highlighted just moments later when she does the exact opposite. Her youthful exuberance takes over and her inexperience and lack of forethought allows her rhetoric to descend into insults about his "arrogance" and "conceit". She produces her final harsh insult of Darcy being "the last man in the world" she would marry, before Darcy feels he must interrupt. These 16 lines of direct and free indirect speech are all written from Elizabeth's viewpoint. ...read more.


We must nevertheless also bear in mind that alternatively, perhaps it is the very crime Elizabeth accuses Darcy of, "his abominable pride", which allows him to maintain his aloof demeanour in his polite, but cold, response. With line 21 comes a change of narration; the "showing" dialogue is replaced with the "telling" narrative. This is practical, as Elizabeth is now on her own and is useful for Austen to provide us with an insight into Elizabeth's current thoughts and feelings. The "tumult of her mind" is apparent as we can feel the sentences stumbling over each other as her mind races. We have repetition of various words, "should", "in love", "pride" and this brings our attention to her fast, tumbling speech and agitated state. This is a realist novel in motion, as we can empathise with her troubled emotions. The number of exclamation marks (lines 26, 27, 30) point to her incredulity, outrage and indeed surprise at recent events and this free indirect speech of Elizabeth draws us into her incredulous reaction. ...read more.


Bearing in mind this is a realist novel, we as readers almost need Elizabeth to turn Darcy down initially, so that we can believe in the sincerity of their impending union. Austen uses both narrative voice and dialogue in this passage. However both are mainly from Elizabeth and it is difficult to gauge Darcy's true feelings, with such little input from him. Our own perspective and feelings are changed throughout this significant passage, and important events to come are set in motion. By focalising from Elizabeth's point of view, upon first reading of this novel we can sympathise more readily with her reaction and we can be caught up in her current indignation and therefore her future embarrassment, as events unfold and both Elizabeth and the reader realise their prejudice has been unfounded. It is only upon subsequent readings of the novel, that our sympathy is a little less forthcoming. Austen has succeeded, through the techniques of her narration, to influence and involve her reader in the lives of her characters. ...read more.

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