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Explore the ways in which Jane Austen satirises the social values of her characters in volume one of Pride and Prejudice.

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Introduction

Explore the ways in which Jane Austen satirises the social values of her characters in volume one of Pride and Prejudice. In 'Pride and Prejudice', Jane Austen satirises many of the characters through the way in which they behave, react towards others, what they say and other characters reactions to them. Jane Austen however, does not mock the more sensible, intelligent characters, such as Elizabeth, Darcy, Jane or Bingley, but focus's more on extreme characters such as Mrs Bennet, Miss Bingley and Mr Collins. Mrs. Bennet is an extreme example of a comic figure who is an irresponsible and immoral parent. She demonstrates a total disregard for her daughter's happiness in marriage. Mrs Bennet's one desire is to see her daughters marry, and in her trying so desperately to pursuit this goal, her behaviour does more to harm her daughter's chance of finding a husband than it does to help. Mrs Bennet doesn't have much consideration towards others, just so long as it helps in her quest of getting her daughters married off. ...read more.

Middle

What makes Mrs Bennet so much more amusing towards the reader, is how over dramatic she is, 'She is a great deal to ill to move.' She exaggerates everything. Jane Austen also satirises Mr Collins, for his morality. He is a priest and people expect him to be an intelligent and calm man. Mr Collins is actually a clumsy, irresponsible man who just wants a wife no matter what she is like on the inside. "He's assuring himself, to make any possible amends.." He sees women as objects as and no more than accessories. He even uses the same speech to propose to both Elizabeth and Charlotte. His speeches reflect how self-centred he is, since he talks most often about himself or his relations with Lady Catherine rather than his love for Elizabeth or Charlotte. He doesn't understand love. Even once Elizabeth has rejected him, he is not hurt, and straight away proposes to charlotte, with no hesitation. He thinks all women would love to marry him, 'But I can assure the young ladies that I come prepared to admire them.' ...read more.

Conclusion

He doesn't behave the way we would expect a person from the church to act. Mr Collins comes across as a very shallow man, who only cares about people's wealth, rank and looks. He assumes that everybody is interested about Lady Catherine. 'In the motion of his lips were the words 'apology,' 'Hunsford,' and 'Lady Catherine.'' It comes across as he is obsessed and honours her for her status 'He's going to show grateful respects towards her ladyship.' Mr. Collins is fond of making long and daft speeches which have absolutely no meaning in themselves. He is extremely coy, using many words and not saying much within them. Mr. Collins's, speeches are not meant to communicate truth but a means to say what he thinks the people around him want to hear or what will make the people around him think well of him. One way, in which Jane Austen emphasizes Mr Collins's ridiculousness, is by placing him against a character that seems very real, and in this case he has been place up against Elizabeth, which makes Mr Collins seem unbelievable at times. ...read more.

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