Thursday, August 15, 2019
Pride and Prejudice Narrative Techniques Essay
The passage focuses on the conversation between Elizabeth and Jane days after they received news about the departure of the Bingleys and Darcy. In this essay, I will explore the themes, the narrative techniques used and the tone of the involved characters. AustenÃ¢â¬â¢s dramatic form of writing is an attractive feature of Pride and Prejudice. The novel is Ã¢â¬ËdialogicÃ¢â¬â¢ in nature; the dialogue between Jane and Elizabeth is a representation of their personalities and characters and Austen has purposefully juxtaposed Elizabeth opposite Jane to show the stark contrasts in their personalities, as well as their views and beliefs. Jane is protrayed as the good-natured and forgiving sister; despite being upset that Bingley had left her, she does not blame him but praises him as the Ã¢â¬Ëmost amiable manÃ¢â¬â¢ and blames herself instead for her Ã¢â¬Ëerror of fancyÃ¢â¬â¢. She thinks the best of others, Bingley in this case, that he is not Ã¢â¬Ëguarded and circumspectÃ¢â¬â¢ despite his wealth. Her love for Bingley is genuine as she sees the virtues in him but she accepts the fact that he may not love her, Ã¢â¬ËI have nothingÃ¢â¬ ¦nothing to reproach him withÃ¢â¬â¢. The themes of love and class are raised here, as JaneÃ¢â¬â¢s words indicate her resignation and acceptance that her love for a man in an upper class is not reciprocated. This reflects how class boundaries and prejudices limit love and happiness during that time. This also indirectly reflects the social standing of women; they are expected to behave in a certain manner that does not undermine their reputation, as doing so otherwise would result in a poor reputation and possible ostracism, Ã¢â¬ËI will not repine. It cannot last longÃ¢â¬ ¦we shall all be as we were before. Ã¢â¬â¢ She defends her friend, Charlotte, as having true feelings for Mr. Collins, despite his Ã¢â¬ËconceitedÃ¢â¬â¢ and Ã¢â¬ËpompousÃ¢â¬â¢ character; an indication of her maybe naive view that true love is simple and has nothing to do with practicality and materialism, Ã¢â¬Ëit is a most eligible matchÃ¢â¬ ¦she may feel somethingÃ¢â¬ ¦for our cousinÃ¢â¬â¢. But what she does not admit openly, due to suspicions that Bingley may have left her due to her social inferiority, is that such Ã¢â¬ËpracticalÃ¢â¬â¢ love does exist. Both sisters are aware of this, which is why both are reluctant to bring up BingleyÃ¢â¬â¢s name during the dialogue, Ã¢â¬ËI have met with two instances lately; one I will not mentionÃ¢â¬ ¦Ã¢â¬â¢ Focalisation, a narrative technique is employed by Austen here, as the narrative voice deliberately omitted BingleyÃ¢â¬â¢s name and referred to him as Ã¢â¬ËNetherfield and its masterÃ¢â¬â¢. Although the opening paragraph is narrated from an omniscient third-person view, Elizabeth is the focaliser; this evokes reader empathy towards the sensitivity of BingleyÃ¢â¬â¢s departure. Elizabeth, however, is angry with both Bingley and Charlotte. She disagrees with Jane that Charlotte has feelings for Mr. Collins as she feels that no one with Ã¢â¬Ëa proper way of thinkingÃ¢â¬â¢ would marry such a man. She thinks that it is a betrayal to Ã¢â¬Ëprinciple and integrityÃ¢â¬â¢ that Jane suggested the possibility of true feelings from Charlotte to Mr. Collins and that Charlotte had betrayed love itself as her act of marrying Mr. Collins is not the Ã¢â¬Ëproper way of thinkingÃ¢â¬â¢. Elizabeth feels that Charlotte married Mr. Collins for reasons other than love, maybe selfishly for status and wealth, Ã¢â¬ËYou shall not defend herÃ¢â¬ ¦that selfishness is prudenceÃ¢â¬ ¦Ã¢â¬â¢ Deep in her heart, Elizabeth wishes to believe in JaneÃ¢â¬â¢s idealistic views on true love, Ã¢â¬ËTo oblige you, I would try to believe almost any thingÃ¢â¬ ¦Ã¢â¬â¢; but reality has shown her that conventional love is influenced and restricted by class boundaries and practicality. This reflects how marriage was the vehicle of self-improvement and wealth acquisition for women during ElizabethÃ¢â¬â¢s day (and thus AustenÃ¢â¬â¢s). Elizabeth views human behaviour as Ã¢â¬ËinconsistentÃ¢â¬â¢ to their actual feelings and that appearance is not a good indicator of Ã¢â¬Ëmerit or senseÃ¢â¬â¢. It also serves as an irony of her own behaviour towards Darcy, as Ã¢â¬ËinconsistentÃ¢â¬â¢ to her eventual feelings for him. ElizabethÃ¢â¬â¢s views of love remains Ã¢â¬ËprejudicedÃ¢â¬â¢ at this stage, a structured irony staged by Austen to serve as a milestone to chart ElizabethÃ¢â¬â¢s maturity later in the novel. However, ElizabethÃ¢â¬â¢s burst of Ã¢â¬ËoutrageÃ¢â¬â¢, Ã¢â¬ËIt is unaccountable! In every view it is unaccountable! Ã¢â¬â¢, can also be read as displaced anxiety and anger as she is very uncertain of her own ability to escape a similar fate of being Ã¢â¬ËdumpedÃ¢â¬â¢ like Jane due to possible social inferiority or having to marry for practical considerations like Charlotte. This is not openly mentioned by Elizabeth in the passage but when she subtly mentioned that, Ã¢â¬ËAnd men take care that they shouldÃ¢â¬â¢, it could be interpreted that she wished to meet a man who would admire her for the correct reasons. JaneÃ¢â¬â¢s words, Ã¢â¬ËIt is very often nothing but our own vanity that deceives usÃ¢â¬â¢ foreshadows the maturity in Elizabeth; she is at the moment Ã¢â¬ËprejudicedÃ¢â¬â¢ against Darcy when she had a poor first impression of him and thus unable to recognize his virtues. Later in the novel, Elizabeth would slowly let go of her Ã¢â¬ËvanityÃ¢â¬â¢ Ã¢â¬â her misplaced Ã¢â¬ËprideÃ¢â¬â¢ and Ã¢â¬ËprejudiceÃ¢â¬â¢ to realise a tender and mutual love between herself and Darcy. In conclusion, AustenÃ¢â¬â¢s Ã¢â¬ËdialogicÃ¢â¬â¢ prose gives personalities to both Jane and Elizabeth, revealing the conscious and unconscious natures of the sisters, as well as their Ã¢â¬Ëhidden impulses and repressed longings. Ã¢â¬â¢ (Walder, 1995, p54) (884 words) References Austen, J. Pride and Prejudice. ed. by J. Kinsley, Oxford WorldÃ¢â¬â¢s Classics. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2008. D. Walder, eds. The Realist Novel. London: Routledge in association with the Open University, 1995.