• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

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

Extracts from this document...

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.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Jane Austen section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Jane Austen essays

  1. Satire and irony in Pride and Prejudice.

    Austen satirizes this kind of class-consciousness, particularly in the character of the sycophantic, pompous and hypercritical Mr. Collins, who spends most of his time grovelling to his upper class patron, Lady Catherine de Bourgh. In the authors opinion Mr. Collins is too conscious of status and possessions for a clergyman and offers an extreme example.

  2. "How does Jane Austen portray marriage in her novel Pride and Prejudice?"

    A large amount of turmoil descends over the family as they try to make sense of Lydia's actions, until Mr Darcy convinced Mr Wickham (with the help of some financial inducement) to marry Lydia. These two scandals would have similar results in the fact that they would have destroyed the

  1. Who and what are the targets of Jane Austens satire in Pride and Prejudice ...

    We know that Jane Austen does not have this view because this is the first example of satire towards mothers at the time with this view, she is criticising them for this, as she believes this is wrong. Jane Austen is effective in satirising through Mrs Bennet here because Austen

  2. Explore how Jane Austen Satirises the social standards of her time in Pride & ...

    that their brother's fortune and their won had been made through trade, so they aren't any better than the Bennets'. For example " ...they have another, who lives somewhere near Cheapside" they both laughed heartily. Bingley's sister and her friend are snobbish when they go to the first ball at the assemblies.

  1. "The Jane Austen novel 'Pride and Prejudice' is basically concerned with the education of ...

    The first is largely concerned with Elizabeth and Darcy because while Miss Bingley exclaims at Elizabeth's appearance, '"it [i.e. walking several miles alone and getting 'above her ankles in dirt'] seems to me shrew an abominable sort of conceited independence, a most country town indifference to decorum."'

  2. In the novel Sense and Sensibility, Jane Austen resists the culture of sensibility.

    Upon receiving the letter regarding Miss Williams at Barton, Brandon's emotions show in his reaction. "[H]e took it, looked at the direction, changed colour, and immediately left the room" (Austen 54). Brandon is visibly upset, and it is evident that the contents of the letter have affected him.

  1. In Pride and Prejudice, what views does Jane Austen convey to us regarding Pride, ...

    1. a. An adverse judgment or opinion formed beforehand or without knowledge or examination of the facts. b. A preconceived preference or idea. 2. The act or state of holding unreasonable preconceived judgments or convictions. See Synonyms at predilection.

  2. Discuss the use Jane Austen makes of letters in her novel Pride and Prejudice

    Lydia does not keep this promise. She very rarely writes and when she does, her letters are short and frivolous. They contain talk only of flirting with officers, balls and new garments that she buys. This shows Lydia?s personality to be vain and silly.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work