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Discuss the Satire of Pride and Prejudice.

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Discuss the Satire of Pride and Prejudice. The explanation of satire in the Oxford English dictionary is "using humour or exaggeration to show what is bad about a person or thing..." In Pride and Prejudice this notion is almost played upon, with Jane Austen using satire throughout the novel in different ways. It is an entertaining way of subtly "poking fun" at a person, or group of people, which they are perhaps unaware of. Pride and Prejudice is a light-hearted novel, which although it picks out particular faults in society which existed then, and as Jane Austen sees them, it is a different type of satire to the type of satire that George Orwell uses in "animal farm". Whilst Orwell is poking fun at a political system, Austen is poking fun at the social circles that surround her in everyday life. In my own personal view, both successfully ridicule the groups that they intend to. Both authors play on the faults, and enlarge and exaggerate them. Although Austen uses satire in her novel, it is concealed to all but the intelligent; who see the real purpose and not just the comical factor of it all. Austen uses it lightly, and subtly, it is not blatant. She uses it benignly, and never means to be harsh, and offensive. She shows what she has observed, and picks people's traits; it is the people around her who are the inspiration for the characters in her novels. Using satire she showed the social snobbery between the classes. ...read more.


He is a snob, and dislikes people that he feels are below him, although he himself is not highly popular. He has a fine image of himself in his head, and holds a good opinion of himself. You are shown that he is shallow when he asks Lizzie Bennet to marry him, as he claims that he is in love with her, and then when she refuses, he quickly got engaged to Charlotte Lucas, which just proves that he did not love Lizzie, and only asked her, as Lady Catherine said that he should have a wife. He is satirically made fun of most when he proposes to Lizzie Bennet. Austen makes the reader almost pity him, as he embarrasses himself to no end, without really knowing it, and making the reader laugh at him. You can compare Mr. Collins to Mr. Darcy. Mr Darcy is high up in the social hierarchy, as he takes after his father's name who set such an example, and he sees no reason for him to name drop at all, especially as he is already at the height of society anyway. Mr. Darcy comes across as the type of person who is actually fine with those who are below him, and although he may be "off" with them, and have formed opinions of them, his mind is not closed, and so there is a chance for it to change. ...read more.


Austen depicts this using satire in her novel, and makes it known to the reader what it was like in those times. In some ways it also can be reflected on what it still is nowadays, except nowadays there is a sheet over it all, and so you cannot see it that much. All in all I think that the satire is very affective, and I think that Austen uses it to her advantages, and it reflects true fully what the real situation was in those times, and how it was hard to tell whom the real people were. I think that the satire that she uses is really clever, and it makes you think a lot. On the surface it is quite light hearted, but underneath the surface it is much deeper than humour, and it makes you understand that there was a lot of people who were so obsessed with being sociable, that in the end you had to laugh at them. It is hard to understand it fully nowadays, as times have changed, and people have different understandings. The satire could become diluted in such situations, but I think that in this case it does not, and it stays strong. I think this because it just makes the modern world which we live in seem so much more trivial, and it gives you an understanding of what it must have been like to live then. I feel that the satire used in Pride and Prejudice is altogether witty, and clever, never once failing to mean something. Cordelia Walsh English Coursework 01/05/07 Mrs. Burns 1 ...read more.

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