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Appearance VS Reality - Pride and Prejudice

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Appearance VS Reality - Pride and Prejudice

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  • July 26, 2008
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PRIDE AND PREJUDICE published in 1813, is Jane Austen's second, and probably best known novel. The novel focuses on life in the early 19th century in a rural area of England, and tells of the initial misunderstandings and later mutual enlightenment between Elizabeth Bennet and the proud Mr. Darcy. Pride and Prejudice constructs heroes and villains through the use of discourses. None better than George Wickham, a suave middle class gentleman, who takes on the role of a villain as his character reveals him to be an affected and an egotistical young man. Jane Austen shapes his character to be portrayed as villainous using the literary conventions of plot, setting, characterisation and narration.

What is a villain? In the context of 19th century values and beliefs, a villain is a character in novel whose evil motives or actions are an important element of the plot. A villain provides a contrast to the hero or heroes of the novel.

The discourse of plot used in Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen shapes Mr. Wickham as a villain, not from the very beginning but later on in the novel once the scene has changed. Throughout the novel, there are four main events in the plot that shape Mr. Wickham to be portrayed as a villain. The first is when Wickham lies to Elizabeth about Mr. Darcy. Wickham reveals to Elizabeth that Darcy's father was his godfather and had promised to provide an ample living for him, but after his death Darcy had circumvented his father's promise and had given the living to someone else because of his dislike for Wickham. Mr. Wickhams true desires are shown when he attempts to seduce Georgiana, Darcys sister. His only motives in attempting this were to inherit some of the fortune the Darcy owned as Darcy explains; Wickham will never marry a woman without some money. He cannot afford it... (269). Mr. Wickham was broke and a share of Darcys fortune was what he wanted. His elopement with Lydia Bennet with no intention of marrying is another factor when...