Pride And Prejudice Satire Analysis

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Jane Austen: Pride and Prejudice Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice is a remarkable work that revolutionizes the treatment of women. The novel forces society to begin a change that would last centuries, igniting a fire in women all across Europe and across the Atlantic ocean to North America. The novel follows the life of a young woman, Elizabeth Bennet, in late 18th century England, who sets an example for the readers to follow. In Pride and Prejudice Austen highlights the quick wit and intelligence of the young woman, and allows the readers to witness the faults in her as well, such as her stubborn pride and prejudices against the other characters. Jane Austen was raised in a middle class family, “Her father, George Austen (1739-1827), …show more content…
Austen uses many characters to show her satirical brilliance, for example when Mr. Bingley says to Elizabeth, “I did not know before that you were a studier of character. It must be a most amusing study” (Austen 37) because Elizabeth’s stubbornness led her to believe she was always right when determining one’s character. By using satire, Austen not only appeals to a larger audience, but breaks down barriers between male and female authors. Prior to Jane Austen, female authors wouldn’t dare to include elements, such as comedy and satire, in their writing because they were strictly reserved for male authors. “The overt lesson of Austen 's satire is that male supremacy is no joke but rather a force to be reckoned with, and to survive, a female must gain masculine approval…”(Wylie). Austen uses many comical characters such as Mrs. Bennet, Elizabeth’s mother, to make the work more light-hearted while also educating her readers on how they should not behave. Mrs. Bennet is consumed with dictating the lives of her daughters, ensuring they marry well and will be able to support her when her husband eventually dies because she did not produce a son to inherit is property. Mrs. Bennet’s future rests on her daughters shoulders, and if they succeed in marrying wealthy men of high social status. Austen uses her character to exaggerate the pure stupidity of the social class system and …show more content…
The multiple themes such as social class, reputations, and the freedom, or lack there of, for women at the time appeal to a wide variety of readers and are applicable in the lives of large percentage of the population. Gary Kelly explains some of the unique stylistic concepts Austen presents in this work: “But its originality…is in its manipulation of the triangular relationship between narrator, protagonist, and reader”(Kelly). Austen encourages the reader to form connections to the most out going and obvious character, Elizabeth, and when she is convicted of her mistakes the reader is taught a lesson as well. Throughout the first half of the novel Elizabeth is full of pride and feels no shame for it, she believes she has the right to be “proud”. “But it is not merely this affair,” she continued, “on which my dislike is founded. Long before it had taken place, my opinion of you was decided. Your character was unfolded in the recital which I received many months ago from Mr. Wickham.” (Austen 170) Elizabeth made quick judgments and required a substantial amount of persuasion to be convinced her original character analysis was wrong. However, as the novel continues on “Elizabeth understands her prejudice to be a product of her vulnerable pride, and beneath that pride—ready to return with a vengeance—is the feeling of shame”(Hirsch). Austen simultaneously instructs women seek

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