Analysis of the way voice and dialogue are used in a passage from Pride and Predjudice.

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The passage used is from Volume 1 chapter IX, running from 'And so ended his affection' and running to the end of the chapter.

The passage concentrates on the interplay between the various 'voices' and as such is dialogic. Our understanding of events and characters is enhanced by the combination of 'showing' (dialogue) and 'telling' (narrative), which includes techniques such as free indirect speech and focalisation.

The passage opens with direct speech from Elizabeth. Her words are provoking, turning the romantic idea of poetry on its head. The exclamation mark hints this to be a form of outburst. By using direct speech, we are given the maximum impact of this, and although witty, it is excessively cynical with regard to love, using phrases such as 'driving away love' and 'starve it entirely away'. It contrasts with Darcy's moderation of tone and word which follows a more traditional view. This dialogue confirms Darcy as moving within socially expected norms whereas Elizabeth challenges them.

The second paragraph moves from 'showing' through dialogue to 'telling' through third person narrative. Initially this is focalized through Elizabeth as '......the general pause which ensued made Elizabeth tremble lest her mother should be exposing herself

again'. The omniscience of the narrator is shown by the awareness of her thoughts and the effect is to draw the sympathy of the reader to her and to trust the narrator. The 'general pause' of this sentence is followed by 'short silence' in the next which serves to underline our identification with Elizabeth's dread of what her mother may say next. The telling of the silence is as important as the dialogue, without this we would be unaware of the full nature of the social awkwardness. The narrator moves into a description Of Mrs. Bennets thanks, prior to changing to free...