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Discuss the significance of letters in 'Pride andPrejudice'.

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Introduction

Discuss the significance of letters in 'Pride and Prejudice'. Letters play a very important role in 'Pride and Prejudice'. They can link the story because letters provide information which we would not have found out from the dialogue between the characters. We an also find out extra background information which can help with the reader's understanding of characters, the plot and the novel in general. Letters can reveal character's personalities and how they feel about the other characters in the novel, for example Miss Bingley's feelings about Jane. Letters are used as a dramatic device in 'Pride and Prejudice' to further the plot, link the story and to inform the readers of the character's personalities. Letters are also an extremely important part of 'Pride and Prejudice' because at the time when the novel was written, letters were the only way of communicating other than through word of mouth. Letters can be used to deliver good and bad news at any time. They did not have telephones so a letter would be the most appropriate way of keeping touch with friends and family. Jane and Elizabeth are two of the main characters in the novel and they write to each other frequently during their visits away from each other. ...read more.

Middle

In Jane's letter of this experience sent to Lizzy, she explains to her that she has finally realised that Miss Bingley does not like her and that her affections were false. 'When she did come, it was very evident that she had no pleasure in it.' The real Miss Bingley is clearly shown in her second letter to Jane and her visit to Jane in London. Miss Bingley's letters also change the plot because when she writes to Jane explaining that they are leaving the town and will never be returning. This breaks Jane's heart, but it also strengthens the relationship between Jane and Lizzy. They write many letters to each other during this period. Letters can reflect character, and Mr Collins is a prime example of this. Even from his first letter the reader can tell that he is an extremely rude, offensive, arrogant, pompous man. In his first letter he writes that he feels that it is his duty as a clergyman to officially 'clear the air' between himself and Mr Bennet since the death of his father. But although this may seem polite, it is clear that he just wishes to see their estate at Netherfield, to see what he will inherit at the death of Mr Bennet. ...read more.

Conclusion

This letter from Mr Darcey shows his true character, which is very different to how the reader originally felt about him. In this letter Mr Darcey's emotions are seen as strong and heart felt. This letter is the changing point in the novel. If the letter had not been written then everything would have stayed the same. This is another example of how a single letter can change the entire storyline of a novel. In conclusion letters do play an extremely important role in 'Pride and Prejudice' written by Jane Austen. Without letters, the novel may be hard to understand because the letters provide crucial information which, if the reader did not have, the novel would make no sense. Austen uses letters to make the novel much more interesting as it is different from constant dialogue. She superbly shows that there are different ways to provide the reader with information other than through dialogue or through the narrator. Letters are important in 'Pride and Prejudice' because they can enhance the plot, change the plot, provide the reader with additional information and can also show character. All of the letters from above contribute to the readers understanding of the novel, to the plot and to add to the characterisation and without these letters the novel would seem incomplete. This just proves that letters play a major role in 'Pride and Prejudice'. Kiera Gittings 10Saturn ...read more.

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