How Effectively Does the Opening Chapter of Pride and Prejudice Introduce the Reader to the Central Characters and Concerns of the Novel?

1283 WordsJan 31, 20066 Pages
The novel ‘Pride and Prejudice' focuses mainly on the protagonists, Elizabeth and Jane. Most of the novel is centred around Elizabeth's point of view. The arrival of Bingley in the neighbourhood is the starting point. In the opening chapter, the reader is introduced to Mr Bennet and Mrs Bennet. Through these characters, the reader learns about Mrs Bennet's biggest concern; to marry off all her daughters. The themes of the novel are mostly related to the title, ‘Pride and Prejudice', there is an element of personal pride amongst the characters and also prejudice, particularly with Darcy and Elizabeth. The first chapter brings in the reader into the world of social class importance, marriage and women's role in the 19th century, which is…show more content…
Though Mr Bennet was correct to portray them as ‘silly and ignorant like other girls'. The novel is written in third person with an omniscient narrator. Austen uses very little detailed physical descriptions; instead, the novel is laid out by the use of dialogue between characters. Each individual's nature is revealed through clever dialogues and in the way the characters speak. ‘"Do not you want to know who has taken it?" cried his wife impatiently.' Austen's use of hyperbole and Mrs Bennet's hysteria reflects her phenomenally exasperating character. Whilst on the other hand, ‘"You want to tell me, and I have no objection to hearing it."' Mr Bennet has an unflustered approach towards the concerns of his daughters being married. The use of great quantity of dialogue is very effective in the novel. Even though it lacks physical description, and lavish speeches are rare, Austen is still able to engage the reader into the story. The reader is able to gain knowledge about what society of the 19th century was like, through the novel. For example: the role of women, entailment and social class. The panic in which Mrs Bennet adopts, although it is exaggerated by her character, it is acceptable and understandable in her situation. This is because women do not inherit their father's property, as an alternative, the property is passed down to the next male in the family. In this case, it is Mr Collins. Therefore, Mrs Bennet needs to make sure all her daughter are

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