Irony Used in Austen's Pride and Prejudice Essay

Irony Used in Austen's Pride and Prejudice Essay

Length: 1166 words (3.3 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Strong Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

Jane Austen combines the theme of irony with satire and drama in Pride and Prejudice to emphasize the overall basic plot of the story. Essentially, the positions and stances the characters hold on the issues on family, marriage, and love, change throughout the book, differing from the previous expectations seen at the beginning of the novel for each individual character. A great example of this is the position that Mr. Bennet holds on the idea of a happy marriage at the beginning of the novel, and then at the end, after many relationships developed, how everything ironically turns out. Austen wittily uses the opening line of the novel: “It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a wife” (Austen 3), to foreshadow the desires of proud and prejudiced characters in the first volume, and how they evolve to be less conceited and more appreciative in the second.
Throughout the first half of the book, most of the characters are only beginning to be explored and the Pride and Prejudice part of the novel is revealed through two opposing characters who ironically start falling in love as the story progresses. But before this, a significant passage is to be acknowledged because it reinforces the idea of what an ideal marriage should be and demonstrates the ideology of wealth and class. In the very first page of the novel, after the opening line, Mrs. Bennet converses with her husband and speaks about a rich man entering town, claiming he would be a great candidate for one of their daughters because of his fortune: “Oh! single, my dear, to be sure! A single man of large fortune; four or five thousand pounds a year. What a fine thing for our girls!” (3). Indifferently, Mr. Benne...


... middle of paper ...


...y was the one who helped Lydia and his rival because of the love he had for Elizabeth. The ironic ending Austen uses, sets up the final decision Elizabeth makes when she believes truly that she does love Darcy and sees the change he went through to prove his love for her: “For herself, she was humbled; but she was proud of him. Proud that in a cause of compassion and honor he had been able to get the better of himself. She read over her aunt’s commendation of him again and again” (235).
Using different types of irony in her story, Jane Austen was able to bring pieces of the story together to form a powerful ending which showed the significant change in the Pride and Prejudice characters and their influences on each other, which concluded with a happy ending.


Works Cited
Austen, Jane. Pride and Prejudice. Intro. Anna Quindlen, New York: The Modern Library, 1995.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Essay about How Elizabeth Bennet is used by Jane Austen in Pride and Prejudice

- How Elizabeth Bennet is used by Jane Austen in Pride and Prejudice as a form of social protest In the society of Jane Austen's day it was imperative that a woman married a suitable husband in order for them to live comfortably and improve the social standing and wealth of her family. Women in high society did not work and so it was vital that they married well. This situation is best summed up in the book by Jane Austen as we are given an insight as to the motives of Elizabeth's sister Charlotte as she considers an offer of marriage, she writes "Without thinking highly either of men or of matrimony, marriage had always been her object; it was the only honourable provision for well-educated...   [tags: English Literature]

Strong Essays
1509 words (4.3 pages)

Use of Satire in Pride and Prejudice, by Jane Austen Essay examples

- Pride and Prejudice is a novel of manners by Jane Austen, published in 1813. This story follows the main character Elizabeth, as she deals with issues of manners, upbringing, and marriage in the society of early 19th-century England. Satire is used in Pride and Prejudice to make fun of human vices or weaknesses. Satire can be described as a literary composition, in verse or prose, in which human folly and vice is held up to scorn, derision, or ridicule (Satire). It is basically used to attack the characters to bring a change about them....   [tags: pride and prejudice, jane austen]

Strong Essays
906 words (2.6 pages)

Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice Essay

- Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice "It is a truth universally acknowledged that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife" Jane Austen used this quote to open her second book, 'Pride and Prejudice', which was first published in 1813. This is a story of the attitudes towards love and marriage in the nineteenth century, through the eyes of a number of people in different family situations and levels of society. It explores what was socially acceptable and disgraceful at the time, as well as the author, Jane Austen's, personal opinion on the matter....   [tags: Jane Austen Pride Prejudice Essays]

Strong Essays
2082 words (5.9 pages)

Essay about Pride And Prejudice By Judith Wylie

- In Judith Wylie’s article, Dancing in Chains: Feminist Satire in Pride and Prejudice, Judith explains how satire is used to focus on Jane Austen’s use of comic characters. The article targets the great deal of feminism that is present in Pride and Prejudice. Jane Austen breaks away from the traditional ways of society with men writing comedy and satire by trespassing the province of male comedic writings through her stupidity in her characters in the novel. Jane Austen also uses the female role to make fun of traditional views and goes against the stereotypes of women being subjects....   [tags: Pride and Prejudice, Jane Austen]

Strong Essays
1433 words (4.1 pages)

Pride and Vanity in Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice Essay

- Pride and Vanity in Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice      Vanity and pride are different things, though the words are often used synonymously. A person may be proud without being vain. Pride relates more to our opinion of ourselves, vanity to what we would have others think of us. In her novel, Pride and Prejudice, Jane Austen makes the point that an excess of pride or vanity is indeed a failing. Pride, observed Mary, . . . is a very common failing, I believe. By all that I have ever read, I am convinced that it is very common indeed, that human nature is particularly prone to it, and that there are very few of us who do not cherish a feeling of self-complacency on the score of some qual...   [tags: Jane Austen Pride and Prejudice]

Strong Essays
823 words (2.4 pages)

Essay on The Importance of Jane Austen's Letters in Pride and Prejudice

- The Importance of Jane Austen's Letters in Pride and Prejudice In Jane Austen's "Pride and Prejudice" letters are used to indicate a change in direction of the plot or to form narrative crisis points. Jane Austen successfully weaves her letters into the natural narrative of the dialogue and description. It is suggested that Jane Austen developed her epistolary mode of writing from many other 18th Century authors such as Samuel Richardson, whose novels are written completely in the form of letters....   [tags: Jane Austen Pride and Prejudice]

Strong Essays
3362 words (9.6 pages)

Jane Austen 's Pride And Prejudice Essay

- An important feature of Jane Austen’s novel, “Pride and Prejudice,” is the utilization of letters, which were the prevalent form of communication in the nineteenth century. “The novel is packed with correspondence, with forty-four letters referred to, and eighteen of those either heavily quoted from or given in full” (Fullerton 46). Letters are used as a dramatic device in the novel to advance the plot, uncover character and benefit in the composition of theme in “Pride and Prejudice.” Through the use of letters, and discussions about letters, Austen creates an intriguing plot....   [tags: Pride and Prejudice, Jane Austen]

Strong Essays
962 words (2.7 pages)

Jane Austen 's Pride And Prejudice Essay examples

- ... Charlotte Lucas explained to Elizabeth Bennet “I am not a romantic, you know- I never was. I ask only a comfortable home; and, considering Mr. Collins 's character, connections, and situation in life, I am convinced that my chance of happiness with him is as fair as most people can boast on entering the marriage state” (Austen116). Austen portrays the relationship between Lydia Bennet and Mr. Wickham to miss the characteristics of compatibility, respect and love. Lydia Bennet fell in love with Mr....   [tags: Pride and Prejudice, Jane Austen]

Strong Essays
1245 words (3.6 pages)

Austen's Manipulation of the Reader's Emotions Towards Characters in Pride and Prejudice

- Austen's Manipulation of the Reader's Emotions Towards Characters in Pride and Prejudice In her novels, Jane Austen employs the timelessly effective characterization agents of dialogue, action, and point of view to cleverly manipulate the reader’s emotions towards the characters. Austen successfully creates heroins in a time that it was not social acceptable to think of women in a heroic role. She is so successful in applying these characterization techniques in her story lines that she molds a positive feeling towards strong females without the reader even realizing the influence the author’s agents have had, at the same time creating a very entertaining story....   [tags: Jane Austen Pride and Prejudice Essays]

Strong Essays
1392 words (4 pages)

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

- 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....   [tags: Pride and Prejudice Jane Austen Essays]

Strong Essays
1451 words (4.1 pages)