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Pride and Prejudice Essay

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Introduction

Pride and Prejudice Compare the proposal scenes in Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen. How does Austen convey the characters' personalities and the position of women at this time? In the universally renowned novel Pride and Prejudice marriage is the dominate theme which explains why the novel revolves around proposals. Marriage is a very important aspect of life; many people dedicate the majority of their lives to finding their life partner. Marriage is normally an action taken due to love being shared between two people already in an established and stable relationship, although Jane Austen provides a dated fashion of reasons for marriage. I personally feel that Pride and Prejudice provides a wonderful insight into 18th century relationships and particularly marriage. Pride and Prejudice gives us an insight into the puzzling 18th century world which on occasions is comic and other times is deadly serious with passion and tension or even with flaring tempers. The contrast in proposals represents the contrasts in the book; from arguments to the humorous discussions and quick-witted comments. The novel also shows us various opinions from different genders and ages on their thoughts of marriage; on how they think marriage should work and the reasons for marriage. The first proposal scene involves Elizabeth Bennet and Mr.Collins, a pompous clergyman who is obsessed with social rankings, who believes marriage should be primarily for his social image and not because of true love and affection. ...read more.

Middle

Also I have come to the conclusion that Elizabeth is simply a slot that needs to be filled in Mr.Collins idealistic life for the benefit of his social status and appearance and not for the correct reason like love. The second proposal involves Mr.Darcy and Elizabeth Bennet again. It is hugely different from the first proposal for a variety of reasons. Mr.Darcy is a well spoken man whom is exceedingly wealthy due to him owning half of Derbyshire. Mr.Darcy's proposal is an honest act which is contrasting from the Mr.Collins proposal as his attempt of marrying Elizabeth was not heartfelt. Austen illustrates Mr.Darcy's nervousness by and sincerity by using short sentences at the start of the proposal; "yes, his misfortunes have been great indeed." This shows that he truly means what he says to Elizabeth because he is accustomed to speaking in longer, thought out sentences. Also his typical vocabulary would be more expansive than the vocabulary he uses in the proposal. I sense that Mr.Darcy is more sensitive to emotion than Mr.Collins for the reason that when he is turned down by Elizabeth he becomes more formal and sarcastic whereas he begins by being polite and nice to her; "I perfectly comprehend your feelings, and have now only to be ashamed of what my own have been". I also feel that you can tell Austen is keener on Mr.Darcy than Mr.Collins because she lets Mr.Darcy's emotions shine through whereas she portrays Mr.Collins as a pompous man throughout the novel. ...read more.

Conclusion

I think Elizabeth resembles a woman breaking the mould, similar to the character Beatrice from "Much Ado About Nothing". I believe a man could not have written this novel due to the fact that rarely is there a conversation involving only men. Also a man would not be able to go into the same depth of conversation between the women and still be able to portray the feelings within the women. Most of the feelings mentioned in the novel are to do with the women and not the men. The men's emotions are rarely commented on by Austen due to the simple fact that she does not posses the feelings of a man. She also portrays the difference between men and women through the techniques of speech; sometimes she uses longer sentences with a good standard of vocabulary for a wealthy and intelligent man to show that he is educated and brought up from a good background. This works in the opposite way too when Austen shows other characters as less intelligent by making their vocabulary less varied and simplistic. Austen also can portray the characters emotion by the technique used in the way they are speaking at that time. An example of this is when Mr.Darcy becomes sarcastic when rejected by Elizabeth; this shows he is bitter and angry. Austen does this many time to superb effect during the course of the novel which acts as a way of portraying emotion without actually stating how the characters feel. ?? ?? ?? ?? ...read more.

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