Wit, Humor and Irony in Pride and Prejudice

Published: 2021-07-07 09:35:05
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The objective of this paper is to analyze the wit, the irony and the humor present in the novel made by Jane Austen: Pride and Prejudice, written between 1796 and 1797. This novel is basically a love story that deals with the theme of marriage, social classes, and their differences and prejudices. The heroine Elizabeth Bennet is a 20-year-old girl, described as an intelligent and witty person, living in the late of 18th century in an estate called Longbourn with her family. Although it is a very old book, Pride and Prejudice contains a lot of themes in it that are up to date and very interesting to modern readers.
Included it has inspired movies and TV series. The latest adaptation of the book to the movies was made in 2005 and it is the one we are going to analyze in order to compare the book and the movie. Jane Austen is one of the best known and most read novelist in English literature. She has a specially talent to describe characters and relationships, as well as her irony and social humour/comedy. Jane Austen’s novels tell love stories, but always with something more in mind than romance, especially since she was against intensely passionate romance herself.
In addition to the theme of love, she also writes about friendship, honor, self-respect and money. She died in 1817 with 41-year-old and never got marriage, the importance gave to this matter is always reflected in her work, especially the fact that finding a suitable husband was one of the main goals in the women’s lives. Jane Austen and her family had their place in the “gentry” within the social class system in England. The gentry were the growing middle class which included the lower nobility and the “bourgeoisie” (land owning middle class). The “gentry” was a wide class with people with different fortunes in it.
There were some very rich and others not much. It had influenced her novels. Jane knew that new groups of gentlemen were rising up. She highlights Mr. Gardiner, Elizabeth’s uncle, a businessman in London as someone from the gentry. She is known as a person really concerned with social questions and she shows it in the book. Throughout this novel, she exposes the people’s roles and ideas of status. Jane often talks about society’s assumptions and classifications. In this book, Jane Austen also explores the tension between the construction of female identity and personal interest.
It appears from many passages in the novel that the paradigms of female behavior prevent a honest exhibition of self. During her lifetime, the author used themes of: Individual and society, Property and class, Politics, Gender, Religion, Morality, Education and reading. Wit, Humor and Irony in Pride and Prejudice Jane Austen’s fame is a combination of many good qualities. She can show in her novels all her cleverness through the Irony, satire and humor. The irony is one of her most characteristic literary techniques.
Her novels employ irony to show the social hypocrisy. In the book we are studding she uses irony to criticize the marriage market, she says on the beginning of the book “It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife. “But during the novel she contradicts it: it is women without fortunes who need husbands and seek them out. And the only character who joins this “truth” is Mrs. Bennet, The author also has the characteristic to demonstrate with humor that the reversals of social are out of the reality.
The “truth” she exposes in the first lines, tell us about the context of the book: the Bennet family, are hardly trying to marry their 5 daughters. The mother is very worried with these marriages, and in her efforts to make sure that they will marriage as quickly and advantageously as possible creates a funny drama about family, society, and marriage. Reading the book you can see in different scenes that Jane uses the humor to describing and exploring the different relationships that are coming with the history. She uses comedy for example to show Mrs.
Bennet hysterics and excitement over a new rich man in town, or Mr. Collins’ incessant bowing. It is used by Austen to laugh and ridicule certain people and situations that she disapproves. Such as people who base their lives and relationships on flattery, or people who are too full of themselves. Austen also employs satire to doubt of typical theories. Especially Elizabeth, she is seeing as considerable interiority, while others serve specific functions without greater depth and are often simply ridiculed by the author. Austen deals with female, male, central, and peripheral characters quite differently.
The resulting portrait of society can seem full of conflicting views. She often shows the folly of human behavior. Narrator The book utilizes a combination of narrative voice and dialogue or showing and telling. The novel is written in the 3rd person, where the narrator isn’t an actual character in the story but an outside viewer. The narrator is also omniscient; he or she can enter into a character’s thoughts and inform the reader of what is happening. Characters Elizabeth Bennet She is the second daughter in Bennet’s family, showing as the most intelligent and smart.
She is the protagonist, to the readers she has only good qualities she is lovely, clever, honesty, virtuously, she is totally different than the society where she lives. She transforms the novel into a history where she is fighting for her true love, Darcy. Her objective in the book is not follow their sisters or mother advices, she is searching to overcome her own mistaken impressions of Darcy, which initially lead her to reject his proposals of marriage and slowly she starts to see the nobility of Mr. Darcy and she realizes the error of her initial prejudice against him.
With this character Jane Austen’s questions the tendency to judge personal merit based on income and status. Elizabeth initially is thinking that Mr. Wickham is a good man although of low social status, and she believes that Darcy, because of his fortune is a detestable person. Elizabeth manners are described by the others as “very bad indeed, a mixture of pride and impertinence” but the author is trying to describe her as the only one who has self respect. Fitzwilliam Darcy In the beginning of the book, Elizabeth describes Mr.
Darcy as the “proudest, most disagreeable man in the world. ” But in fact he is not more than a son of a wealthy, well-established family and the master of the great estate of Pemberley. Darcy is Elizabeth’s ideal match. Intelligent and determined, he too has a tendency to judge as well as she does. And his wealthy makes him proud and although he doesn’t seem to mind, he is aware of his social condition His arrogance makes him initially to mess up the relationship he was trying to arrange. When she declines his proposal he starts to be more humble.
Although the refuse he stays devoted to her. After many proves he shows himself as a man who worthy Elizabeth’s hand and she finally change her mind, she repents and accept to stay with him. Jane Bennet and Charles Bingley Jane is the elder sister of Elizabeth and Bingley is the Darcy’s best friend, Jane and Bingley get engage. They first meet at the ball in Meryton and enjoy an immediate mutual attraction. They are most like equal in their behavior; both are happy, friendly, and kind. They always make good judgments trying to see the good side of everyone.
They make a great contrast to the couple Beth and Darcy. Their principal characteristics are goodwill and compatibility. They are to show the true love without pride or prejudice. Mr. Bennet He is Elizabeth’s father and is trying to find his role in a family with such a ridiculous wife and difficult daughters. He is isolated and sometimes he shows sarcastic humor. Mr. Bennet identifies himself with Elizabeth because of her cleverness and intelligence. Although he looks a sympathetic person we can see that he is in fact a weak dad who doesn’t react when he is required.
Mrs. Bennet Mrs. Bennet is very boring and difficult character. She is noisy and foolish; she is a woman who only aspires to marriage her daughters. Ironically, her objectives never seem to work properly. She is not friendly with no one which she tries to desperately attract. In the end of the book, she proves to be such an unattractive figure, without any good characteristics. She seems to be the portrait of greed. The relationship between Mr. and Mrs. Bennet is not an example of love and matrimony harmony.
The antagonism or simply misunderstanding between husband and wife serves to set each character into a kind of relief where faults and foolishness become highlighted. Compare the novel and the film In my view the main difference are the different intentions of both versions. The differences can be as many as we can observe for example, the movie has a short length, so, many of the intentions and emotions presents on the book don’t appear in the movie. The characters are not well described, the scenes and even the central point of the novel are different.
I’ve observed that the triangle between Elizabeth, Darcy and Wickham are not emphasized in the movie as it is in the book. The Darcy story itself is not cleat on the movie. Other detail that didn’t appear in the movie are the Bennet’s sisters visit to their aunt, and the stories that happen there were omitted. The book gives us more details about the actions and the characters behavior, I noticed that the own Elizabeth in the movie is a rude girl and ill-tempered, but in the book she is presented as a good humor girl, and an intelligent women with kind manners.
The relation between Bennet’s family, special between Jane and Elizabeth are not well exposed in the movie, they look more distant. There is a scene in the movie which we can deduce that Elizabeth looks to Darcy and almost immediately she felt in love for him, but it didn’t happen indeed. There is also a difference in the places where the scenes are originally and it is missing some characters, like Maria Lucas, for example. The humor and sarcasm is not well exposed in the movie as it is in the book. Personal reflection
Personally I love movies with Kiera Knightley, I found it a pretty good interpretation of the book, because it is easier, joyful and a “light” version. The movie isn’t exactly equal to the book, and even so it’s not a bad thing. The bad / sad side is that we lost some good acts of irony which are such a clever social and morally questioning that are also very up to date, and I think it would be good to be showed. Mr. Darcy looking pretty much friendly and gentle in the movie but to really appreciate the story and understand it’s importance I would suggest to everyone to read the book in addition to watching the movie.

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