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How Does Jane Austen manipulate the readers understanding of the Elizabeth/Darcy relationship?

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How Does Jane Austen manipulate the readers understanding of the Elizabeth/Darcy relationship? Throughout Jane Austen's Pride and prejudice we the reader are never sure if the relationship between Elizabeth and Darcy will ever truly be accomplished. So many trials fall in their way that if this was a modern day relationship we would surely have given up. The story is told through Elizabeth, but not in first person. As a result, you have to look closely at the dialogue to develop a true understanding of the characters. The main actions of the novel are the interactions between opinions, ideas, and attitudes, which weaves and advances the plot of the novel. The emotions in the novel are to be perceived beneath the surface of the story and are not to be expressed to us (the readers) directly. The novel is set in Elizabethan times and during this period marriage was very important. If a girl was to get anywhere is life she had to either have money or marry into money. Or at least this is the opinion of Mrs Bennet. Elizabeth has different views, she feels that love is the most important thing, along with respect and devotion. As the reader you understand that she will not marry unless truly in love. Money is not an object to her however Lizzie a large understanding also of what she doesn't want in a marriage, as you can see from the incident with Mr Collins. ...read more.


However this relationship is put on hold while Elizabeth travels to stay with Mrs Collins her husband and of coarse the ominous Lady Catherine De Bourgh. After a few weeks who should turn up but Darcy and his friend Colonel Fitzwilliam. Lizzie immediately takes to him but is unsure now of Darcy. More and more often she feels him to be insulting her when he is merely desperate for her to see how much he loves her. He desperately tries to prove to her that the only reason for him being so rude to her before is not because he is shallow and proud but merely down to the fact that he is shy. She does not realise that these are his intentions and so believes him to be insulting her. Then we come to Darcy's awful proposal. We as the reader can see that he is not meaning to cause any insult but Lizzie thinks only that he is rude and obnoxious. Darcy then stresses his believe that it is her hurt pride that is stopping her from accepting and Elizabeth snaps hurling all her feelings straight at him with out taking breath. Darcy leaves and after hearing all the reason she would not have him he decides to explain himself in the only way he can. He writes her a letter. ...read more.


Darcy knowing Wickham very well ventures to London to track Wickham down. He does and agrees to pay him to marry Lydia. The reason for this? His love for Lizzie. He also convinces Bingly to move back down to Netherfield to restore the love between him and Jane. Lizzie then receives a rather strange visitor in the manor of Lady Catherine. They have what in modern culture can only be called a mild slanging match in the gardens. Lady Catherine has heard that Darcy in engaged to Lizzie and so has come to forbid her to marry him as he is betrothed to her daughter. Lizzie is shocked but also rather pleased of the news. She informs Lady Catherine that she is not engaged and is then told that if Darcy is to propose that she is to refuse him but Lizzie informs her that she will do no such thing. Several weeks later Mr Bennet receives a letter from Mr Collins about the issue and all he can do is call Lizzie into his study and laugh about it. It is not until a few weeks later when he is asked by Darcy for his daughters hand in marriage and after having a conversation with Lizzie realises her feelings and soon after they are happily married. Jane Austen has managed to produce a story where the reader is never sure if Darcy and Lizzie will ever be together. Using the techniques explained above Jane Austen keeps the reader on edge and not wanting to put the book down. ...read more.

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