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Satire is an important element of Jane Austen's writing. Illustrate with examples, the satire in Pride and Prejudice

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Introduction

Satire is an important element of Jane Austen's writing. Illustrate with examples, the satire in Pride and Prejudice Pride and prejudice was published in 1813. It is a book that focuses on the social and political matters of Jane Austen's period. The book is set during the period of the French revolution in 1789. Pride and prejudice is the story of Mr and Mrs Bennet of minor gentry, their five daughters and the various romantic adventures that they experience. During Jane Austen's time, the way people behaved and acted was an important factor, someone's class rank immediately judges you, and determines how some people might react towards you. If someone of a high class behaved in an immoral way, or someone of a low class behaved in an unacceptable manner, then society expected them to be looked down on. During Jane Austen's time, society expected women to get married; this was because women weren't entitled to any inheritance. A good marriage would be like sealing a social contract, providing a woman with a comfortable lifestyle and also make financial provision to the future. Jane Austen uses satire in many characters such as Lady Catherine de Bourgh and Mr Collins to show a use of ridicule or irony about the social content of that time. Pride and Prejudice deals with various qualities of social satire and irony. The opening line of the book is an unforgettable satirical thrust; it gives you an insight into the social and marriage issues of Jane Austen's time, "It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife". ...read more.

Middle

Throughout the novel she is constantly trying to win Darcy's affections, she tries to prevent Darcy's attachment towards Elizabeth by constantly ridiculing the poor manners of Mrs Bennet and her personality. They are both very snobbish, but are shown to be not as high as they think to be. This is another example of the irony in Jane Austen's writing, The Bingley sisters are being gently mocked because of their attitude towards the Bennet's because; their ancestors are in trade, when the Bingley's ancestors were too in trade. Mr Collins is too a satirised character, because he displays such a flattery for Lady Catherine de Bourgh, he praises her excessively. I think that Jane Austen shows Collins as a very comical character because has shows a personality mix of obsequiousness and pride. Mr Collins is a pompous and a generally idiotic clergyman who stands to inherit Mr Bennet's property. Mr Collins own social status is nothing to boast about, but he takes great pains to let everyone know that Lady Catherine de Bough is his patroness. Mr Collins is very much aware of social class and status, and is seen as social climber, he is a classically represents what Jane Austen hated about the clergymen of her time. Jane Austen makes Collins look very ridiculous seeing as he is a clergyman, but meanwhile is a very materialistic man. He tries to come across as a humble man, when in actual fact he has a very materialistic outlook to life, he values only the quantity or size of a house. ...read more.

Conclusion

Jane Austen does use characters like Elizabeth Bennet in a positive way to expose the satire used in many of Jane Austen's characters. I think that Elizabeth Bennet is like a reflection of Jane Austen; she uses Elizabeth's character to express her ironic views about the society of that time. I think that Jane Austen was very much like the character Elizabeth in her time; this can be seen in what Elizabeth says, "I hope I never ridicule what is wise or good. Follies and nonsense, whims and inconsistencies do divert me, I own, and I laugh at them whenever I can." There is a lot of witty play of language in many of Elizabeth's conversations, especially between characters like Lady Catherine de Bourgh and Darcy. Many of Jane Austen's comments of the characters and her views about society are made through gentle mocking irony throughout the novel. Jane Austen's sense of humour and intelligence allowed her to show the reader the, "follies and nonsense, whims and inconsistencies," of her characters. The way she writes about characters such as Lady Catherine de Bourgh, Collins, the Bingley Sisters and Mrs Bennett are good examples of this. She also does so without being unreasonable, as she laughs not at them, but at what they do. The main object of satire in the novel is the mercenary and the ignorance of the characters. In the novel Jane Austen has used satire to denounce the elements of marriage and society that she has predominantly found distasteful. These are the conclusions of her observations of the people in her time. ...read more.

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