Pride and Prejudice
The first line of Pride and Prejudice reveals that a man who has money desires a wife. In the novel, Jane Austen criticizes British society and social expectations of the 19th century. Austen does this by her use of satire in her portrayal of her characters and in multiple situations. Her use of satire is to challenge the way things were in that time. Specific characters are the opposite of what they should be. However, some are just as they should be, and Austen pokes fun at them. The use of this sarcasm and irony is present throughout the novel.
A common theme Austen is trying to portray is that marriage should be for love and not for financial reasons, which was expected in the 19th century. Elizabeth is a character who goes against this expectation. When Mr. Collins and Mr. Darcy propose to her, she denies them both, despite the fact that they are successful and wealthy; she wants to marry for love. Austen intentionally makes the relationship between Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy challenging to show that she is really in love with him at the end. Then, Elizabeth basically laughs in Mr. Collins’s face when proposed to. She denies his request simply because she does not love him. However, Mrs. Bennett wants Elizabeth to marry him because he is next in line to inherit the family home. Elizabeth is different from other women of her time because she is not ditsy or superficial as many were then.
A character who shows Austen’s satire is Mr. Collins. He is very pompous and he says that he only associates himself with people of a higher social class, which makes him better than everyone else. He also says he would rather face death than mess up the way society is. Lady Catherine is just the same as Mr. Collins. The ridiculousness of them both makes them easy targets to be made fun of. Lady Catherine is supposed to be a role model in the community for the way women are supposed to act. However, she has very poor manners and is very rude when...
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