A Sense of Place in Austen's Pride and Prejudice Essay

A Sense of Place in Austen's Pride and Prejudice Essay

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A Sense of Place in Austen's Pride and Prejudice


It is interesting to observe Dictionary.com's definition of the word
"place" in relation to "person". Especially when it comes to Pride and
Prejudice, where Austen has made great use of the objective
correlative technique, in which many, if not all, of her settings
considerably reflect the characteristics of their owners. She
additionally employs several other techniques regarding the sense of
place in her novel, which are important not only in the facilitation
of numerous plot points, but also in establishing and understanding
her characters and their relationships. So what are these techniques,
and why are they so effective? To find the answers to such questions,
we should look closely at Austen's methods of incorporating a sense of
place into her novel.

The technique of objective correlative is often used in establishing
the qualities of a character by having them reflected in that
character's surroundings. These can be material objects, belongings,
or in Austen's case, locations. If we take a look at the setting of
Rosings, we see that it is described as ostentatious, overwhelming,
and, in comparison to Pemberley, the other grand country estate,
rather garish:

From the entrance hall, of which Mr. Collins pointed out, with a
rapturous air, the fine proportion and finished ornaments, they
followed the servants.... In spite of having been at St. James's, Sir
William was so completely awed by the grandeur surrounding him, that
he had but just courage enough to make a very low bow, and take his
seat without saying a word; and his daughter, frightened almost out of
her senses, sat on the edge of her chair, not knowing which way to
look. (p. 121)

S...


... middle of paper ...


...m. Through usage of the objective
correlative, readers can gain a great deal of insight into the
characters themselves, and thus further enjoy the novel with an
enhanced understanding of Austen's creations. She also establishes a
sense of balance by having the more influential events of the story
take place in the openness of the great outdoors, and those of less
import occur within the boundaries of the inside. Additionally, Austen
has her characters travel to various parts of Great Britain, which
allows for correspondence in the form of letters (serving to
facilitate the necessary delay of action) and for mistakes to be made.
Austen has made great use of the sense of place in Pride and
Prejudice, and her techniques coalesce to deepen the reader's
understanding, to give a sense of balance, and to effectively enhance
the enjoyment of a delightful story.

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A Sense of Place in Austen's Pride and Prejudice Essay

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