Stephan Meyer Pride and Prejudice “It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a wife. However little known the feelings or views of such a man may be on his first entering a neighborhood, this truth is so well fixed in the minds of the surrounding families, that he is considered the rightful property of some one ot other of their daughters” (Austen, Pride and Prejudice 1).
These first sentences of Austen’s novel immediately establish a central motif of the work—marriageability—and equally demonstrates Austen’s use of irony. The novel is considered an Horacian satire, a direct form of satire which pokes fun at humble foibles with a witty, even indulgent tone. Austen described her work metaphorically as miniature painitngs on small bits of ivory, an art form popular in her lifetime. She prided herself on knowing to the smallest detail th e little corner of the world she created in her narrative.
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But as critics Sandra Gilbert and Susan Gubar have pointed out, this reference to the miniature is not necessarily the familiarity self-deprecating move of a woman writer of the time, but is in fact unsettling in that it reminds “us of the risk and instability outisde the fictional space. ” In other words, Austen’s work is a metaphor for her interest in the subdivision of social space and the gender and class boundaries that such subdivision implies.
Before you read the novel, read and consider the attached articles, “The Best Qualities of Pride and Prejudice” by Somerset Maugham and “Clashes and Compromises in Pride and Prejudice” by Laura Mooneyham. The articles will give you a conext for a deeper understanding of Austen’s work. Your Summer Assignment: As you read, mark (bookmark, sticky notes) scenes that strike you as particularly humorous/funny (remember, the humour is British—dry and witty). When you finish the novel, select five such scenes and write a dialect journal entry for each.
The targeted dialect journal is familiar to you; the template for it is given here, or you may access it on the school website, under Summer Reading 2008. Due 8/25/08. Satiric Scene Journal for Pride and Prejudice Paraphrase selected scene (Chapter #)Journal Response (Focus on why you find the scene funny 1. “the business of Mrs. Bennet’s life is to get her daughters married. ” (Volume 1, Chapter 1) Her main objective in life at the time the novel unfolds is to find wealthy husbands for her five daughters.
She is portrayed as frivolous, excitable and narrow-minded; her manners are seen as lacking in refinement and gentility and embarrassing by her eldest daughters. Her favourite daughter is the youngest, Lydia. 2. “Stupid men are the only ones worth knowing after all. ” (Volume 2, Chapter 4) As the conversation between Elizabeth and her aunt go on, I found it funny how they spoke of the qualities of men and what should/ should not be acceptable for marriage. Elizabeth makes the statement out of sheer sarcasm. LOL 3.
A lady’s imagination is very rapid; it jumps from admiration to love, from love to matrimony, in a moment. (Volume 1, Chapter 6) I found this to be one of the funniest scenes in the entire novel. As Ms Bingley goes on yapping to Mr Darcy, she is completely unaware of the fact that she is ignoring him. Darcy shows a deep understandiung of the statement that Ms Bennet made of wihing him joy. He knows how air-headed and fool-hearted that women of that society can be. 4. “Ah! Jane, I take your place now, and you must go lower, because I am a married woman. (Volume 3, Chapter 9) If I were to pick one character in the novel to die, it would definitely have to be Lydia. She is nothing but a little prick and the only person who fails to see that is Mrs Bennett. Even Wickham himself realizes that he made a mistake by marrying Lydia, when he shows up to the Bennetts’ home and he is nowhere as enthusiastic as Lydia is about the marriage. Lydia does not realize that she is deeply paining her eldest sister by telling her to move further down the table, “…because I am a married woman. Jane had found love and it was snatched away from her by jealousy, now Lydia is flaunting the wedding ring and bragging of her marriage in front of the person who is the most heart-broken. 5. Happiness in marriage is entirely a matter of chance (Volume 1, Chapter 6) Charlotte is showing jealousy of Jane’s relationship with Mr Bingley. She speaks to Elizabeth of the possibility of the relations of Jane and Bingley. I find it humorous because later on in the novel, Charlotte speaks of the assurance of happiness that she will have with Mr Collins after their wedding.