English Commentary on Chapter One of Jane Austin's 'Pride and Prejudice'

Essay by AFSGiantsHigh School, 12th gradeA-, April 2006

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There are innumerable times in our life when we have difficulty communicating a point or convincing someone to change their opinion. Mrs. Bennet finds that this task is even more difficult when her counterpart, Mr. Bennet is being sarcastic. In Jane Austen's novel "Pride and Prejudice", both these characters argue their views of love and marriage, with Jane Austen playfully using irony as a literary device to deliver a message.

Jane Austen's quick introduction of the main themes of love and marriage, and the characters of Mr. and Mrs. Bennet immediately defines our view of them. Firstly we are immediately aware of the important of love and marriage to the rest of the novel. This first chapter gives us a taste of Mr. and Mrs. Bennet's feelings towards these ideas, which reoccur frequently. The end of the chapter sums up the traits of both the Bennets. 'Mr. Bennet was so odd a mixture of quick parts, sarcastic humour, reserve, and caprice...[

Mrs. Bennet's] mind was less difficult to develop. She was a woman of mean understanding, little information, and uncertain temper.' This description introduces the question of why Mr. and Mrs. Bennet got married, because of their incredible differences. It is most likely these unknown circumstances that lead them to have different views on the marriages of their daughters.

Mr. and Mrs. Bennet's relationship with each other is characterized by their pattern of language and their expression of their ideas. Even from their opening conversation, their unconventional relationship is evident; '"My dear Mr. Bennet", said [Mrs. Bennet] "have you heard that Netherfield Park is let at last?" Mr. Bennet replied that he had not. "But it is, do not you want to know who has taken it?" "You want to tell me, and...