From Pride and Prejudice, vol II, ch x
Please analyse this passage in no more than 1000 words, discussing ways in which the narrative voice and dialogue are used.
This chapter opens with a line from the omniscient narrator confiding or 'telling' us about Elizabeth's unexpected encounters in the park with Mr Darcy. Austen's use of the 'telling' technique here is economical and saves the reader actually having to read through each of these meetings to know that they took place.
In the next line the narrator slips into Elizabeth's mode of speaking with the use of free and indirect speech, to convey her feelings about the so-called accidental meetings. The irony can be picked up in the statement: 'She felt all the perverseness of the mischance that should bring him where no one else was brought;' was it really coincidental that Darcy was walking there? If we back up to the previous chapter we notice that Mrs Collins had even suggested to Elizabeth that Mr Darcy was possibly partial to her, so did not these encounters somehow arouse Elizabeth's suspicions and confirm this in some way, especially as she had taken care to tell him that this walk was a favourite haunt of hers? Was she somehow lying to herself here when she described the second and third encounter with Darcy as odd? Here the narrator wants us to believe that Elizabeth had no suspicions whatsoever concerning Darcy's interest in her - this is not trustworthy, because we know that she knew about his possible interest, but she had always laughed at the idea.
The focalizing through Elizabeth continues with the narrator taking on Elizabeth's character of speech to 'tell' us, clarify to us that Darcy, on these encounters, did not merely pass on fleeting formal enquiries, but...