Sunday, 07 November 2010
Plot Construction of “Pride and Prejudice”
By Madhurai Gangopadhyay
In contrast to the simplicity of her style, Jane Austen’s plots are unexpectedly complex. She was never content to simply draw two or three characters in isolation. She always preferred to fill her huge canvas with a family, with their many friends and acquaintances and she tries within her limited means to make her plot as tight and interesting as possible. There is enough material in any one of her six novels to serve the modern novelist in writing two or three good sized stories: one story, one thread is not enough for her, and the tangle of human relationships is never too intriguing for her. Almost all of her plots are plots of progression. A plot of progression is one in which the main protagonist develops with the development of the plot. “Sense and sensibility”, for example, has two protagonists---Elinor and Marianne. Elinor is neither allowed nor requires any development in the course of the plot, as she is shown to be a mature and prosaic person right from the beginning of the plot. , Marianne, however is allowed to pass from a state of ignorance to illumination in the course of the novel, like Elizabeth Bennet in “Pride and Prejudice”.
In this novel, Jane Austen has not dealt with the deeper problems confronting the human race---like the problem of moral right and wrong, or that of a conflict of duties. Her modest theme is connected with the upheavals and complications brought about in the lives of two young people. The main plot is the story of misunderstanding, estrangement and union in the lives of these two individuals---Elizabeth and Darcy. The novel...