Pride and Prejudice: Passage Analysis

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Question: Read the passage from pride and prejudice (Volume 2 Chapter 9) carefully several times. In a continuous essay of not more that 1000 words, analyse this passage, discussing ways in which the narrative voice and dialogue are used.

The passage extracted from Volume 2 Chapter 9 of Pride and Prejudice is, in line with the rest of the novel, written in the third person narrative voice. As is common throughout the Novel, focalization is often through the main character, Miss Elizabeth Bennet. Helping to aid the readers’ understanding of the Novel, the narrative voice has a free non-direct style which shares commentary with the characters and moves unnoticeably and unobtrusively from character to group, from solitary scenes to social gatherings of the characters.

The passage opens directly with dialogue between Elizabeth Bennet and Mr Darcy. Dialogue is used to reveal the character of the speaker and it also adds drama to the story. The repetitious use of “cannot” is used to empathise the male dominance of the character. Not only are the words that are spoken important, it is also significant how the words are said. Charlotte’s first line in the passage is spoken “impatiently”. Quite ironically she is speaking of a gentleman’s affection, and thereafter she speaks “knowledgeably” of love. She is neither knowledgeable nor experienced in either of these matters. Perhaps the “impatience” is more pertinent to her wishes than to experience. In this way, Jane Austen uses irony in her narrative as a means of showing the truth about situations and people. In Darcy’s discourse he is disagreeing with Elizabeth – a pattern that emerges throughout the novel. Within the conversation between Mr Darcy and Elizabeth Bennet we are exposed to the narrative technique of showing- when describing a narrative, one of the most important aspects is the point of view from which the story is told. Hence, there are two basic forms of narrative - diegesis and mimesis:...
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