" I hope I never ridicule what is wise or good. Follies and nonsense, whims and inconsistencies do divert me, I own, and I laugh at them whenever I can "
How does Jane Austen reflect "folly and nonsense" in Pride and Prejudice ?
" For what do we live, but to make sport for our neighbours, and laugh at them in our turn?
Jane Austen , Pride and Prejudice
Jane Austen wrote her novels in the style of the Augusten Period, which was a period that emphasised common sense, moderation, reason over emotion, and elegance over brevity. She therefore ridicules those who refuse to stay within the bounds of social behaviour. It is possible to see within each character a certain amount of inconsistency, whether in behaviour ,attitude or manner.
In the beginning of the novel Mr.Bingley is described by Jane - " He is just what a young man ought to be," she said, "sensible, good humoured, lively; and I never saw such happy manners!- so much ease with such perfect good breeding!" to which Elizabeth replies in further praise " He is also handsome," replied Elizabeth "which a young man ought likewise to be, if he possibly can. His character is thereby complete" These statements do not reflect the emotion present in statements made about him later in the book - " I begin to feel sorry that he comes at all," said Jane to her sister. "It would be nothing; I could see him with perfect indifference, .. . Happy shall I be when his stay at Netherfield is over!"
From the above remarks it is clear to see the changing in perception of others, namely Lizzie, and Jane on Mr.Bingley. This change stems from the lack of constancy on Mr.Bingleys part. He lacks a strong character and is like clay, i.e. he is easily moulded by his peers. This can be seen in Mr.Darcey's letter to Lizzie... [continues]
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