Mid-term Paper for English Literature
Chapter 3 Jane Austen and her Pride and Prejudice
Study Questions 3: Discuss the importance of dialogue to character development in the novel. Dialogue has always been considered a most significant factor in a novel. Even Raymond Carver, a writer who was regarded as a follower of Hemingway’s simplicism and a representative of minimalism in writing style, was never mean with words when it came to dialogue. The reason why writers are so fond of dialogue lies in its capability of presenting the characters lively and vividly. As a typical representation of comedies of manners, Pride and Prejudice depicts life in the countryside of England between the end of 18th Century and the beginning of 19th Century. Instead of focusing on direct and plain descriptions of the characters, Jane Austen distributed most words to the dialogues to reveal dispositions of the characters implicitly. By analyzing the dialogues in this novel, readers are able to have a clear and complete picture of the characters besides by the author’s efforts on describing their behaviors, manners and expressions. Some dialogues taken from the book are going to be cited as explicit examples, by analyzing which readers are able to perceive part of the corresponding characters’ features. “Which do you mean?” and turning round, he looked for a moment at Elizabeth, till catching her eye, he withdrew his own and coldly said, “She is tolerable; but not handsome enough to tempt me; and I am in no humour at present to give consequence to young ladies who are slighted by other men. You had better return to your partner and enjoy her smiles, for you are wasting your time with me.” This is taken from Chapter 3, the scene of the Meryton ball. It is Darcy’s respond to Mr. Bingley’s advice that he dance with Elizabeth. But Darcy refuses in a rude way with Elizabeth staying close enough to listen to his comment on her. This dialogue shows how Darcy is biased...
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