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

Discuss the Significance of Letters in 'Pride and Prejudice'.

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Discuss the Significance of Letters in 'Pride and Prejudice' A significant feature of 'Pride and Prejudice' is the use of letters, which were the typical form of communication in the 19th century. The epistolary style was very popular in the eighteenth and nineteenth century. Austen wrote two novels in epistolary form; Lady Susan and Elinor and Marianne. Austen uses letters to reveal character and as a method to introduce and advance the plot of the novel. The importance of letters is shown by the number of letters in 'Pride and Prejudice'; forty-three are in and referred to in 'Pride and Prejudice'. Austen cleverly uses letters to make connections between events and comparisons of viewpoints and personalities. Many of the letters in 'Pride and Prejudice' are followed by action and they are of immense significance to the plot. Letters give the reader the chance to narrate the story themselves as the author is not directly telling the plot. Through letters Austen reveals a great deal about contemporary society in the 19th century; they are a means of shaping character and showing happiness and sorrow. The letters tell us that that many judgements of people were made before actually knowing the person. The reader learns that marriage was an important concept in the nineteenth century and many families wanted their daughters to marry in to higher class. ...read more.

Middle

This shows that Austen uses letters to reveal character and advance plot. Another example of Austen using letters to further plot and reveal charter is when Jane writes to Elizabeth telling her about her stay in London. The letter tells the reader about the closeness of the two sisters' relationship. All of Jane's experiences of London are conveyed through this letter. Jane finally admits that she was right about the insincerity of Caroline Bingley's friendship, although, as usual, she makes excuses for her carelessness saying that "anxiety for her brother was the cause of it". Here, instead of giving us a long narrative about Jane's stay in London, Austen condenses her entire stay into a brief letter giving the reader an understandable picture. The letter from Elizabeth to her aunt, Mrs Gardiner, illustrates the close relationship between aunt and niece, as do many other letters in the rest of the novel. She relates that Mr Wickham's affections for her have subsided and have been transferred to another young lady, Miss. King, who had recently acquired 10,000 pounds. This also provides an important insight to his character. Elizabeth tells her aunt that she has "never been much in love" with Wickham and neither had he as he was hoping to marry Miss King. The reader gets the picture that Mrs Gardiner fills in the gap of a 'mother' for the Elizabeth, as she has an unintelligent mother. ...read more.

Conclusion

Mrs Gardiner concludes the letter stating that she is sure Darcy's actions are motivated by his love for Elizabeth, and relates to Elizabeth how much she thinks he would be a good match. It is now that Elizabeth realizes her true feelings for Darcy. She is sure however, that he would never marry her now and suffer through being Wickham's sister-in-law. Just through letters the reader is able to make clear judgements of the main characters. Letter writing is a serious business for characters like Darcy, Jane and Mr and Mrs Gardiner. Mr Bennet is a lethargic letter-writer; his letters are infrequent and short. Letters provide a way of distinguishing character. Mr Collins is recognised as a wild man from his first letter and his letters after Lydia's elopement show his self-centredness. Lydia's letters show the irresponsibility and selfishness of her character. The letters in 'Pride and Prejudice' show the feelings of characters as they are individual and the letters are directly talking to the reader. Without the letters a great deal of the plot would be lost because the reader would not get an insight of the characters feelings. The reader is able to make a personal judgement on each character without the authors intervening. Using letters is also an easy way of advancing plot, as the author does not have to go into excessive detail. Letters allow other places to come into the novel as they are not focused in one place. Zohra Farooq 10 Mars 07/12/02 - 1 - ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE 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 GCSE Jane Austen essays

  1. Marked by a teacher

    Pride And Prejudice:Why is the news of the elopement of Lydia and Wickham in ...

    5 star(s)

    to uncontrollable passion, not love: ?How little of permanent happiness could belong to a couple who were only brought together because their virtue?. Mr and Mrs Bennet, partly due to their unsuccessful marriage, prove to be terrible parents by the elopement.

  2. Discuss the significance of the title, 'Pride and Prejudice'.

    Sir William Lucas was once a mere tradesman but his knighthood, 'had given him a disgust to his business and to his residence in a small market town;' (Chap5 pg 18) and once he had moved and quit his job he was able to, 'think with pleasure of his own importance.'

  1. A Comparison of the Prejudice which the Heroines Suffer in Rebecca and Pride and ...

    conceited Rebecca, and because his wife now appears to have transformed into all that he detests (all the things he had married her for not possessing). To Darcy, social class is everything, but it means little to Maxim. In both novels the heroines suffer prejudice at the hands of other women, which perhaps suggests a lack of female alliance.

  2. Pride and Prejudice essay - a comparison of Elizabeth and Lydia

    She does not allow herself to simply be dictated to, but has the strength of personality to do and say as she sees fit, and for these reasons I think that she earns almost all readers approval. I do not think that Jane Austin intended us to approve of Lydia.

  1. Discuss the proposal scenes in Pride and Prejudice showing how they relate to the ...

    Elizabeth is patient to hear what Mr Collins has to say. He thinks she is only being reluctant towards him because of her modesty. He is foolish because he is self-important and he doesn't even think about how Elizabeth is feeling about him because he has no self-doubt.

  2. Examine the different marriage relationships and attitudes towards marriage presented in 'Pride and Prejudice'. ...

    This meant that Darcy had found a way to get to speak to Elizabeth and she had accepted him, which raises his spirits. Their conversation is a lively one whilst they dance. She is very playful with her words "'Both' replied Elizabeth archly" this shows that Mr Darcy is now

  1. pride and prejudice /womens role in 19th century

    He was amazed when she refused his proposal when he asks her "I might perhaps, wish to be informed why, with his arrogance the same as Mr Collins. These both men asked for her hand in marriage but were refused for their shocking personalities.

  2. How far does the theme of prejudice dominate the novels "Pride and Prejudice" by ...

    form an accurate judgement; Darcy's letter, the experienced housekeepers account, Wickham's shameful elopement and Mrs Gardiners letters. These are highly influential in forming her right and lasting opinion of the two men. Lamenting that 'one has all the goodness and the other having all the appearance of it'.

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