Domestic Chronotope in 'Pride and Prejudice'

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The Russian philologist and literary philosopher Mikhail Mikhailvoch Bakhtin (1895-1975) uses the term “Chronotope” to designate the Spatio-Temporal matrix, which governs the base condition of all narratives and other linguistic acts. The term itself can be literally translated as “Time-Space”. The term is developed in Bakhtin’s essay, “Forms of Time and Chronotope in the Novel”.

Bakhtin in his essay says that “a literary work’s artistic unity in relationship to an actual reality is defined by its Chronotope. He further says that “Chronotopes are the organizing centers for the fundamental narrative events of the novel. The Chronotope is the place where the knots of narrative are tied and untied.” So, Chronotope is a category that deals with organization of Time-Space model. It enables one to follow shifts in the presentation of the human relation to Space and Time in Literature; it functions as a force giving body to the entire novel, because the organization of time cannot be done without the implication of space organization and vice-versa.

In his essay, Bakhtin mentions various major Chronotopes in the novel, like, the Chronotope of Encounter, which he further connects it with Chronotope of Road, as Encounters in a, especially in picaresque novels, usually take place “on the road”. Representatives of all classes, ages, nationalities meet on road, thus their temporal and spatial paths intersect. Further, he talks about Gothic Chronotope, sub-divided into Chronotope of castle where we see historical Space and Time intersecting with each other. In the same essay, Bakhtin also mentions Chronotope of Salon and Parlour, and Chronotope of Threshold, where he gives theory of interwining of spatio-temporal relation in those Chronotopes.

In this paper, I would merely touch upon one more example of the spatial and temporal sequences. In Austen’s “Pride and Prejudice”, the domesticity of country-side life...
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