JANE AUSTEN: PRIDE AND PREJUDICE Essay

JANE AUSTEN: PRIDE AND PREJUDICE Essay

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JANE AUSTEN: PRIDE AND PREJUDICE

A Critical Analysis

The opening chapter of the novel gives us a brief introduction to the
lives of the Bennets. Mrs Bennet’s sole purpose in life is to marry of
her daughters to wealthy young men. It begins with Mr and Mrs Bennet
having a conversation about marrying of their daughters as soon as
possible. Mrs Bennet tells her husband about a young man who has taken
possession of Netherfield and about how they should make it a point to
visit him and introduce their daughters to him so he can marry one of
them. Mr Bennet is seemingly uninterested and is sarcastic about the
idea, which partly angers his wife.

The use of humour in the opening chapter is brought out by Mr Bennet
through his responses to his wife, and also through Austen’s own
comments. This is first outlined after Mr Bennet says to his wife,
“You want to tell me, and I have no objection to hearing it.”, Austen
comments ‘This was invitation enough’. This is a funny statement and
in its humour Austen manages to bring out character trait of both Mr
and Mrs Bennet. Mrs Bennet is shown to be very enthusiastic,
talkative, and ultimately a bit of a gossip. Mr Bennet, on the other
hand, is shown to be a passive person. When Mr Bennet says, “for as
you are handsome as any of them, Mr. Bingley might like you the best
of the party.”, it shows him to be a humorous person and has the
effect of bringing life to the text. Towards the end of the chapter Mr
Bennet once again brings out the aspect of humour when he says, “I
have high respect for your nerves. They are my old friends. I have
heard you mention them with consideration these twenty years at
least.”. This once again brings out his wife’s character, as a
relativ...


... middle of paper ...


...en also creates tension in the first chapter by
not introducing Mr Bingley. We are simply made aware of his existence.
This makes the curious about his character. Many aspects of the book,
for example any ideas that the reader might have about how the story
will unfold, are not confirmed by Austen, thus creating tension and
leaving the reader curious if the story unfolds the way they thought
it would.

Austen manages to captivate the reader in the first chapter. She
mainly uses humour and sarcasm to achieve this effect. In this chapter
we are shown the importance of Mr and Mrs Bennet to each other. Mrs
Bennet needs her husband to keep her from going out of hand, and he
needs his wife to add humour to his life through her being ridiculous.
The firs chapter of Pride and Prejudice is extremely well written and
makes the reader not want to put down the book.

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