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Through close attention to chapter 15 and 16 of Pride and Prejudice, consider Jane Austens methods in the presentation of Wickham.

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Introduction

Q) Through close attention to chapter 15 and 16 of 'Pride and Prejudice', consider Jane Austen's methods in the presentation of Wickham. The story of 'Pride and Prejudice' by Jane Austen revolves around the actual words 'pride' and 'prejudice'. Pride is where a haughty attitude shown by somebody who believes, often unjustifiably, that he or she is better than others. Her pride prevented her from mixing with those she considered her social inferiors. Prejudice is where someone has a preconceived opinion of a notion. In her book Austen uses a wide variety of different writing techniques. One of the countless numbers of techniques she uses is free indirect discourse. Austen uses free indirect discourse plus her own narrating in order to present Wickham in the manner she wishes. From the start of chapter 15, Austen introduces Wickham to us by exceedingly drawing attention to Wickham's fine fa�ade. "..The attention of every lady was soon caught... " Another way in which Austen describes Wickham to us is when she says: "...whom they had never seen before, of most gentlemanlike appearance". This is Austen perceptibly saying that Wickham is like a gentleman but isn't actually one. ...read more.

Middle

As they are older and wiser they would try and see past the surface of Wickham and into his opinions before judging him. They are generally more sensible and responsible whereas Kitty and Lydia are childish. Out of all the sisters Kitty and Lydia are the most taken by Wickham. Clearly we can see that their aim on the outing was to look for good looking officers and look at shop windows so they were in luck when they saw Wickham. "Their eyes were immediately wandering up the street in quest of the officers..." As the novel progresses Austen illustrates to us more and more about Wickham and the slow progress of his developing character. In this chapter we meet him at a dinner party with the Bennets and the Philips'. There is a quote which says: "Elizabeth felt that she had neither been seeing him before, nor thinking of him since, with the smallest degree of unreasonable admiration..." Wickham's second appearance has confirmed that he's as good in person as he was in her mind. Overall though we can tell that she's beginning to admire him by falling for his deathly charming trap. ...read more.

Conclusion

One writing technique that Austen uses is bathos. This is where the writer builds up the suspense and rhythm and then ends it quickly with something silly or unimportant. For example: "I have a warm unguarded... ...he hates me"; a simple abrupt ending. Overall these two chapters show that Wickham's entire importance in the novel so far ha been entirely appearance based. Up until the conversation between Lizzie and Wickham, where we uncover Wickham's malicious character, Austen never makes reference to his personality. Austen continually illustrates the fact that all Wickham has to live off, is his outer shell and general good looks. By giving us these first impressions of Wickham, Austen is trying to show us that Wickham's principally external virtues is the philosophy of why he has any entire relevance to the novel at all. This has many implications for the rest of the novel and the characters as both Lydia and kitty become entrapped by Wickham's bogus act and Lydia eventually ends up marrying Wickham. When we see Elizabeth falling for the same trap, we already know the story and we don't want her to fall for the deceit. This is called dramatic irony. Dramatic irony is one of the many techniques that Austen uses in her excellent novel to capture the reader. ...read more.

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