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Pride and Prejudice, similar to other Jane Austen's novels, is written in gentle satire.

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Introduction

Pride and Prejudice, similar to other Jane Austen's novels, is written in gentle satire. The tone of the novel is satirical, in a light non-offensive manner, which is stated in the first sentence of the novel: "It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife." In this statement, Austen has clearly established the humorous tone of the novel. The main object of Jane's satire in the novel is the selfishness and ignorance of people, generally those of a higher social ranking, which was a common criticism of the 18th century. Characters in the novel which best carry these qualities are Mrs. Bennet, who is a foolish woman who talks too much and is obsessed with trying to find suitable, wealthy husbands for her daughters; Mr Collins, the silly and conceited pompous man who is completely in ore of Lady Catherine, and dedicates everything he does to her. ...read more.

Middle

Collins had only to change from Jane to Elizabeth -- and it was soon done -- done while Mrs. Bennet was stirring the fire". He later stated to Lizzy that "Almost as soon as I entered the house I singled you out as the companion of my future life." Although this statement being true, realistically, he was only interested in Lizzy as Jane was unavailable. This shows how Mr Collins realistically didn't care for either of them, and is just a conceited man. In the Proposal scene between Mr Collins and Lizzy, Austen is able to satirise Mr Collins with great ease, showing his high opinion if himself. On first proposing, Lizzie accepted the compliment, but declined, this being the first of five. Mr Collins responded by saying "I am not now to learn,'' replied Mr. Collins, with a formal wave of the hand, that it is usual with young ladies to reject the addresses of the man whom they secretly mean to accept, when he first applies for their favour; and that sometimes the refusal is repeated a second or even a third time." ...read more.

Conclusion

Though Mrs Bennet being the sill women she is, doesn't notice this mockery and continues to talk. Another aspect, which adds to her comic character, is how her opinion of people can change so quickly. For example she dislikes Mr Collins greatly, though when she finds out that he is interested in one of her daughters, her opinion completely changes. "Mrs. Bennet treasured up the hint, and trusted that she might soon have two daughters married; and the man whom she could not bear to speak of the day before was now high in her good graces." This shows how superficial she is when it comes to materialistic things. Also, near the end of the book, she changes her opinion of Darcy, when Lizzy says she is to marry him. She does not like him because of Lizzie, but because he makes over ten thousand a year. This shows how Austen uses satire to give character less respect, and therefore when it comes to themes such as their opinions of love, they are not taken as seriously, hence helping to tell the love story. ...read more.

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