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The Theme of Marriage and the use of Irony in Pride and Prejudice.

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Introduction

The Theme of Marriage and the use of Irony in Pride and Prejudice The apparent theme of this novel is husband hunting. Mrs. Bennet is anxious to secure suitable matches for their five daughters. The young girls are also separately eager to settle down. The Lucas family is worried about their plain and rapidly aging daughter Charlotte. Miss Bingley is hunting for Darcy's hand, while Miss De Bourgh is also running after Darcy. Miss Darcy also apparently wants to rope in Bingley. IN fact Austen's novel deals with the universal theme of love and marriage. It describes five marriages, four new ones and a fifth old one. The partners marry for different reasons, with the result that most of them prove a failure. ...read more.

Middle

Even Jane's marriage with Bingley was not a roaring success. Only Elizabeth's marriage had a sound basis. The novel thus shows the adverse effects of ill matched marriages. Pride and Prejudice is a rich comedy. The comic version of Jane Austen is shown through the ironic treatment of situations, Characters and episodes. The two comic characters are Lady Catherine and Mr. Collins. Mrs. Bennet in her attempt to get suitors for the daughters, drives them away. Lady Catherine and Miss Bingley tried to prevent the marriage of Darcy to Elizabeth, but they only helped them to come nearer to each other. Lydia was allowed to go to Brighton so that she would not do any flirtation at home, but her trip ended in her elopement with Wickham. ...read more.

Conclusion

Thus pride and prejudice treats marriage in a very humorous manner in some cases, but a serious one in others. The use of irony makes everything more exciting. For example, Elizabeth takes pride in her perception and calls her sister Jane blind to the realities. Actually she herself is blinded by her prejudices and makes wrong perceptions. There is a contradiction in what Wickham and Darcy appear to be at first sight, and what they actually are. Wickham is graceful and polished but he is a villain at heart. Darcy looks vain but he reveals greatness of heart in the end. Irony in the hands of Jane Austen is a means to create humor and laughter. ...read more.

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