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Microcosm of the society is shown through the use of language in Pride and Prejudice.

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Introduction

In pride and prejudice, microcosm of the society is shown through the use of language. Microcosm is also shown through the way Austen portray the characters and the relationship between them. The many events in this novel had also been a way in which Austen represents the society at that time. Set in the period of circa late 1800 to early 1900, the novel is based by the lifestyle of a society in a small English town called Merryton. The story basically centred itself in the middle/upper class society. Based on this, it is clear that Austen do not really represents the society thoroughly as the story is mainly focused on the lifestyle of the middle to upper class society. There are few representations of the lower class society. Mostly the lower class characters are portrayed as maids, servants and home keepers that play no significance to the story. But in overall, Austen had succeeded in describing the life during that era. The middle to upper class social life and activities of that time are shown through the events described in the novel. One example is the balls and dinners attended by the Bennets. They are pictured as the events where people socialised. As shown through this quote, as the Mrs Bennet talked to Lizzy about introducing her daughters to Mr. Bingley during a ball. 'When is your next ball to be, Lizzy?' ...read more.

Middle

The society expects women to be gentle and polite. Women like Elizabeth are considered rebellious and may not be able to marry a good man. The point of view of men about women's purpose of marriage was also shown in this novel, especially in the characteristic of Mr. Collins, 'Your portion is unhappily so small that it will in all likelihood undo the effects of your loveliness and amiable qualifications'(chapter 19) In here, Mr. Collins had given unpleasant remarks towards Elizabeth, highlighting her unattractiveness in financial terms despite her physical beauty. This shows how men look at women and marriage at that time and their point of views are almost the same of the women's. Therefore, it is clear to see that Austen had succeeded in showing the general perception of the society on women and marriage through the use of microcosm. Other than that, the relationship between the characters in the novel had also depicted the microcosm of the society. This is because the relationship mainly shows the relationship between the social classes in the society. One such example is the relationship between Jane Bennet and Charles Bingley, their relationship received many objections especially from the Bingley sisters and his best friend, Darcy because of the unwritten rules on who should marry who. The Bingleys, being a high class family looked down on the Bennets because the Bennets fortune are not inherited but from trade. ...read more.

Conclusion

Lastly, Austen had shown the microcosm of her society through the use of polite, subtle language. This is because she wants to show the etiquette and formality used in that era. For example, Mrs Bennet addresses her husband as 'Mr. Bennet' (chapter 1 ), so are her daughters. This clearly shows a sense of formality in the family. This is actually typical of that era. She also uses satires and irony to criticise the society, as shown in the opening 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'. Her uses of these terms had showed that the novel is a microcosm of the society at that time and had given a comical approach on the subjects discussed in the novel. In conclusion, Pride and Prejudice is a microcosm of the society in many ways. It shows the life of the society in that period of time through the events, character, the relationship and also the language used. In all, Austen had succeeded in depicting the society at that time, giving a better picture of life during her time. This novel can also be considered as a criticism of her society as shown through the use of satire and ironies. In the other hand the novel itself could not be considered as the microcosm of the whole society as the story only focuses on the life of the middle to upper class society of Merryton, the main setting of the novel. 1 080/ES3 ...read more.

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