Courtship and marriage are a central theme of the text, and there are many understandings of conduct to be gained from it. A central development in the book is the courtship process of Marianne and Willoughby. Her misjudgment, as described in the narr...
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...ator disdainfully describes certain caricatures implies that Austen is criticizing flawed social conventions (bad conduct). She states that, “the language of this book is strangely contentious, as though the narrator is angry at the mediocrity of some her characters or at the exhausting triviality of social life. (29). The intensity of the criticism differs greatly depending on the character. Take for example, Mrs. Jennings. As a chatty Cathy, her gossip of Marianne’s engagement to Willoughby is described as an “attack” (Austen 167). This is a relatively light attack. Caricatures that are not harshly criticized sometimes have humorous descriptions of them. For instance, Mrs. Palmer is described as a “silly woman” (106). The narrator describes Lady Middleton with a more scathing tone: “from this kind of vanity was her greatest enjoyment in any of their parties” (32).
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