Pride and Prejudice

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Through studying the contexts and connections of Pride and Prejudice and Letters to Alice, our understanding of the text is shaped and reshaped. These texts have a number of similarities and connections despite their vastly different contexts, “Pride and Prejudice” was published in 1913 at a time where wealth, social class and propriety were of great importance. “Letter to Alice” shows another perspective published in 1984 where society is run on the concept of freedom of speech, thought and value. While there are these obvious differences in context, there are many underlying values that are represented both through these texts, such as the value of literature and the underlying truths of society. Firstly both these texts are connected with the portrayal of the value of literature. They convey these values through the use of characterisation, didacticism and irony. Austen utilises characterisation to present her ideas of the value of literature by devaluing the characters wo do not hold a similar view point. She devalues them through irony, high modality, negative generalisation on foolish characters through a negative generalisation by Miss Bingley, “ Do you prefer reading to cards? That is rather singular… ‘Miss Eliza Bennet, said Miss Bingley, despises cards. She is a great reader and has no pleasure in anything else.” This ironic generalisation presents Austen’s opinion, as it conveys that literature is important because the criticism comes from an unlikeable character. Characterisation is also used to portray these ideals is when Miss Bingley tries to get the attention of Darcy by ironically reading a book, “At length quite exhausted by the attempt to be amused with her book, which she had only chosen because it was the second volume of his…” This contrasted with Elizabeth Bennet, who enjoys and finds pleasure in reading books. Secondly these texts are connected with the underlying truths of society. Both texts use didacticism, irony and characterisation...
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