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“Pride and Prejudice” Irony Analysis
The novel ‘Pride and Prejudice’ was authored by Jane Austen and first published in 1813. It depicts the story of Elizabeth Bennet, the main character as she struggles to deal with issues of manners, morality, decorum, education and marriage. The play is set in England in the 19th century.
Irony depicts a literal situation where an action taken bears an exactly opposite effect of what was intended.
Questions on irony in the novel
This statement is found in the first chapter of the book, during a dialogue between Mrs. Bennet and her husband Mr.Bennet. Mrs. Bennet talks about a new, rich, young neighbor who had bought the ‘Netherfield’ and was bound to move in there in a few days. However, Mr. Bennet is not of the same opinion. He sarcastically tells her that since she was equally beautiful, she should probably try to win his heart too. This shows that he was not in agreement with her statement. The phrase therefore creates an irony in that not everyone, more so, Mr. Bernnet who seemed to agree to it.
Mrs. Bennet gets annoyed by the assertion made by Mr. Bennet that out of the five daughters, it is only Liz he recommends for the new neighbor, Mr. Bingley. This is despite Mrs. Bennet’s attempts to portray the rest as better than her. Sensing her annoyance, he claims that he has no reason to annoy or disrespect her, as he has apparently never done so for the past twenty years. However, the truth of the matter that he seems delighted at her annoyance, contrary to his claims.
Lady lucas was a very good kind of a woman.
Mr Darcy, the twenty-eight-year old, rich bachelor had fallen for Elizabeth. However, she did not have the same feelings for him as she felt that he was rude, full of pride and unpleasant. These are certainly no good descriptions for a gentleman He had refused to dance with her earlier during a ball at Bingley’s and this did not amuse her. Elizabeth never liked Darcy and had no kind words for him. So when she tells Sir Williams that he is polite, and that is why he was not requesting for a dance from her, she exactly meant the opposite of that. All she was seeing in him is his pride and, therefore, calling him polite was out of context.
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Miss Bingley, the rich sister to Bingley had other ideas on the kind of a girl fit for Mr. Darcy. And certainly she did not have Elizabeth in mind. She did not like her either and that is why she was so rude and contemptuous of her on realizing that Mr. Darcy was falling in love with her. She herself had romantic intentions for him and was feeling a loser to Miss. Elizabeth. When she tells him that he would have a charming mother-in-law who would always be at Pemberly with him, the statement was full of disdain, dislike and loathing for Miss. Elizabeth and her family. This is because Miss. Bingley meant the exact opposite of her words.
Catherine and Lydia were the youngest of the five sisters. They were not preoccupied with anything particular of interest in their lives. Visisting their aunt, Mrs. Philips who lived at Longbourn, a village one mile away from theirs was the best way of spending their time. She was a source of gossip about the events happening in the neighborhood, and the two young sisters loved it. It is her who first told them about the arrival of a militia regiment in the neighborhood, news that fascinated them so much. This gossip is what the author calls: productive, interesting intelligence”. Yet, it is a well known fact that gossip and idle talk can never be productive news.
Mary is more preoccupied with reading and she does this often instead of joining the rest of her family in their myriad activities. However, though she believes that she is very knowledgeable and not like the rest of her siblings, however, the fact is that she is just like her sisters. She carries herself in that demeanor and that is why as her sisters get back home, they find her deeply absorbed in her studies, as usual, though she was eagerly waiting for her younger sisters to hear the new gossips about the neighborhood. Her knowledge and high moral ground was all but pretence, though she carried herself as if she was different.
Such was Mis' scheme: she did injustice to the fire and independence of his character, for it led him to escape put of Longbourn House the next morning with admirable slyness, and hasten to Lucas Lodge to throw himself at her feet. Miss Lucas was a close friend to Elizabeth. Though Collins loved Elizabeth and had proposed to her, Elizabeth did not like him. So, on the night the Bennets were dining with Lucases, Elizabeth did not like Mr. Collins, the cousin to Mr. Bennet’s clergy and who was trying hard to win Elizabeth’s heart. Miss. Lucas tries the best she can to shield Elizabeth from him. Yet, on the surface, she was showing him that all was fine. However, behind the scenes, she was trying the best she could to keep him off her friend. Instead, she gets into a love affair with him and agrees to marry him. However, this is after no suitor shows up and she fears becoming a burden to her family. Through Collins, she was sure of financial gains.
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Lucas perceived him from an upper window as he walked towards the house, and instantly set out to meet him accidentally in the lane. Though feeling almost secure, and with reason, Charlotte had been tolerably encouraging he was comparatively diffident since the adventure of Wednesday. His reception, however, was of the most flattering kind. However, little had she dared to hope that so much love and eloquence awaited her there. Miss Lucas wanted to escape from being a bother in her family. She wanted financial freedom, marriage and a family. Age was catching up with her. Mr. Collins, money with financial stability was willing to marry her. However, he was a man of many words, and, Miss. Lucas could only hope – against hope – that he would not overdo himself in expressing his love in actions and words. Yet, all these are what she knew she would encounter from him.
Mr. Collins was known to make long speeches lacking in substance. The speeches were often annoying as they could go on and on and on. There was nothing like a short time in these speeches. The short time referred to here probably means another session of a long boring speech.
Mr. Collins was a man of his means financially though he lacked common sense, decency and manners. He never behaved like a gentleman and was a man full of senseless talk. This is the reason why Elizabeth could not marry him. It is the reason why Miss. Lucas felt nagged in courtship and did not want it to go on for long. His courtship was simply annoying. It is definitely not a compliment to have such a character. However, in this scenario, it has been made to look like one. It is an exact opposite of the reality.
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Miss Lucas, who accepted him solely from the pure and disinterested desire of an establishment, cared not how soon the establishment was gained. Mary Bennet is the only plain Bennet sister, and rather than join in some of the family activities, she reads mostly, although she is often impatient for display. She works hard for knowledge and accomplishment, but she has neither genius nor taste. She is as silly as her two younger sisters, Kitty and Lydia; though she thinks she is very wise. She is included very little in the book.
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