Essay on Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice

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Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice In this essay I will be exploring the first chapter of the novel "Pride and Prejudice" in terms of how successful it is as an opening chapter and what it tells us about the rest of the story. One of the most famous first lines in literature is the opening to the book: "It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a large fortune must be in want of a wife." In this sentence, Austen immediately accomplishes two things: she informs the reader of the central theme of the book, and establishes a humorous, ironic tone. Much of the story is based around the idea that everyone must be married, and to someone as wealthy as possible. Mrs.…show more content…
Bennet says "I am thinking of his marrying one of them" we learn of her aim in life. She obviously agrees with the opening line, and intends to get her daughters married to a wealthy man. Mrs. Bennet then attempts to persuade her husband, Mr. Bennet, to go and visit Mr. Bingley, as the social custom of the time was that a woman and/or her daughters could not visit a newcomer without her husband having visited him first. Mr. Bennet appears reluctant to do so. This shows us that Mr. Bennet has little regard for the practice. In this way he appears similar to Austen, as she too seems to disapprove of the policies of the era. As the chapter continues, we begin to see more about the relationship between Mr. and Mrs. Bennet. He delights in taunting his wife, which we can see from his refusal to visit Mr. Bingley. She does not understand his sarcasm, for example, when Mr. Bennet says "as you are as handsome as any of them, Mr. Bingley may like you the best of the party," Mrs. Bennet believes that he is sincere in his comment, which of course he is not, he is merely playing with her, emphasising her stupidity. It is at this point when we realise that there is little love in their marriage, it was a marriage of convenience, the sort which Mrs. Bennet is attempting to secure for her daughters. This is the first kind of marriage that we are introduced to, and the reader knows that there are
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