Feeling Accomplished: Reflections Of Judgement In Jane Austen's Pride And Prejudice

1308 words - 5 pages

When one's accomplishments are held under scrutiny, there are varying standards that they may be considered against, depending on the judge. However, the criteria that one evaluates others with speak volumes to the critic's own character. In the passage of Pride and Prejudice, where Darcy, Caroline, Elizabeth, and Bingley discuss the definition of an "accomplished woman", the requirements that each character considers ideal reveal the stark contrast between their personalities; Jane Austen's variation in each characters' tone, irony, and diction suggests that the way one critiques others is a reflection of their own innate nature.

The tension that is laced into the tone of the passage underscores the differences that lie between the characters and their contrasting opinions. Bingley is the only one who describes women with kindness, in his belief that he "scarcely knows anyone" (lines 10-11) who is not accomplished. However, his generosity can also be interpreted as a sense of naivety, which is a truthful portrayal of Bingley's nature of seeing the best in others. Elizabeth, on the other hand, speaks with a rational voice; she is very logical in her "wonder at [Darcy and Caroline] knowing any" (line 37) accomplished women. Her responses to Caroline demonstrate both Elizabeth's fearlessness in speaking of her own opinions and desire to speak her mind. Bingley and Elizabeth's tones are contrasted by Caroline and Darcy's manners. Caroline is vitriolic in her comments, not only on the whole but particularly toward Elizabeth when she describes her opinions as "paltry" (line 52) and "mean" (line 52). Caroline's tone reveals her lack of respect for others who are below her in social standing. Darcy appears frank for speaking his thoughts openly, however in context his words also take on a disdainful tone. This is a direct reflection of Darcy's nature, which is often mistaken for arrogance when he tends to act blunt but guileless. The overall tone of the passage is tense, conflicted between each character's thoughts on accomplishment, which helps distinguish their unique personalities; each person's thoughts on the issue represent, quite accurately, their general temperament.

The verbal irony that appears throughout the passage, particularly in Caroline's words, highlights Austen's contempt towards evaluating others without attention to one's own character. After Elizabeth retorts that she "never saw such a[n accomplished] woman" (line 40), both Mrs. Hurst and Caroline "cried out against the injustice of her implied doubt" (lines 42-43); it is evident that they view themselves as accomplished and thus superior, while ironically this very attitude defames their temperament. The two sisters claim that "they knew many women who answered this description" (line 44) of being accomplished, when it is sarcastically apparent that the only ones they believe to fit the criteria are themselves. Furthermore, the ambiguity in Caroline's description that an...

Find Another Essay On Feeling Accomplished: Reflections of Judgement in Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice

The Theme of Marriage in Jane Austen's Pride And Prejudice

984 words - 4 pages The Theme of Marriage in Jane Austen's Pride And Prejudice One of the main themes in Pride And Prejudice is marriage. Throughout the novel, the author describes the various types of marriages and reasons behind them. "It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a wife. The novel demonstrates how many women need to marry men they are not in love with simply

A Comparison of Characters in Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice

1394 words - 6 pages A Comparison of Characters in Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice There are several ways of comparing the potential of a man to be a suitor, ranging firstly from the possible social gain that the woman might achieve from marrying up a class, to the security that the man could offer them in terms of life quality and economic status, and lastly that they might actually be in love with each other and make each other happy

Jane Austen's Presentation of Mr Collins in Pride and Prejudice

1714 words - 7 pages Jane Austen's Presentation of Mr Collins in Pride and Prejudice Jane Austen presents Mr Collins as a character with many different traits. Mr Collins is a man who is very aware of his social status, likes to impress people, is extremely proud and has an inflated ego to name but a few. The first time we get a mention of Mr Collins, is in chapter thirteen, where we learn that Mr Bennet has in fact never met the man

Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice

1907 words - 8 pages Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice "It is a truth universally acknowledged that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife" Jane Austen used this quote to open her second book, 'Pride and Prejudice', which was first published in 1813. This is a story of the attitudes towards love and marriage in the nineteenth century, through the eyes of a number of people in different family situations and levels of

Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice

1261 words - 5 pages Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice "Consider Charlotte's views on marriage and to what extent she puts them into practice". Charlotte Lucas, of Lucas Lodge, when talking to Elizabeth voices her opinions on marriage. Among her conceptions are: · That she thinks Elizabeth's sister Jane should encourage Mr Bingley and show him how she feels, because nobody is self-confident enough to truly love someone

Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice

3161 words - 13 pages Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice Jane Austen was born on December 16, 1775 to the Reverend George Austen and his wife in Hampshire, England. The sixth child out of the seven, Jane was educated mostly at her home although she and her sister, Cassandra, were sent away to school for several years when they were young. Austen wrote several novels when she was in her teens, but her major works were written later on in her

Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice

1153 words - 5 pages characters. In Jane Austen’s novel Pride and Prejudice, she divulges the central theme of society and social class through the characters Elizabeth Bennet, Mr. Darcy, and Lady Catherine. The first character that Austen uses to analyze this theme is Elizabeth Bennet. Austen describes Elizabeth as “uncommonly intelligent” (qtd. in Auerbach 135). She struggles to express her individuality in a society that is based upon prominent social conformity

Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice - 1084 words

1084 words - 4 pages Arguably one of Jane Austen’s most iconic novels, Pride and Prejudice, tells a story of an unlikely romance between Elizabeth Bennett and Mr. Darcy. What makes this novel so wonderful is the characters and their interactions. In chapter fifty-nine, Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy have become engaged. This chapter is wonderful and necessary to the novel for the description of Elizabeth’s true emotion and the reactions of Elizabeth’s family after they

Love and Marriage in Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice

2826 words - 11 pages Examine the themes of love and marriage in Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice. Pride and Prejudice is the best known and best loved novel of the English writer, Jane Austen, who first gave the novel its modern character through the treatment of everyday life. Austen started to write for family amusement as a child, and received a broader education than many women of her time, as she grew up in an upper-class environment, which she wrote

Love and Marriage in Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice

3238 words - 13 pages Love and Marriage in Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice Analyse Jane Austen's presentation of love and marriage in her novel Pride & Prejudice. From your evidence suggest what Austen regards as a 'good' marriage. On first impressions of the novel, my own prejudices clouded my judgement of the book and of what it might have consisted. Living in the 21st Century it is somewhat difficult to imagine anything remotely

Love and Marriage in Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice

3752 words - 15 pages Love and Marriage in Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice Pride and Prejudice was published in 1813 during the Regency period. From a woman’s point of view, marriage was seen as “the only honourable provision for well-educated young women of small fortune”. Marriage was seen as the only way of securing a home and a decent living. If a woman wasn’t married she would have the life of a spinster, and depend upon a family

Similar Essays

Letters In Jane Austen's Pride And Prejudice

2860 words - 11 pages Letters in Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice Pride and Prejudice is one of the great love stories of our time. Its continued popularity shows that its essential story can still be adapted to modern day life. Set in the 1800s, it tells the love story of two people who gradually learn to understand each other and themselves. In the time that the novel is set, modern means of communication, for example telephones and computers were not

Analysis Of Jane Austen's Pride And Prejudice

1276 words - 5 pages Analysis of Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice Pride and prejudice is a novel set in the late 17th Century and was written by author Jane Austen. The novel is based upon the theme of marriage and social settings of the 17th century. The novel is set in an era where women where 2nd class citizens and were inferior to men. This is ever so prevalent in the novel. In the time of which the novel is set women were not meant to meddle in men’s

Jane Austen's Use Of Irony In Pride And Prejudice

805 words - 3 pages of the novel "Pride and Prejudice", though Austen's irony plays the all pervasive; yet it never allows this vision to attain the abominable portions of any kind of didactism.indeed, it may be said that one of the greatest charms of this novel is derived from the gentle "tongue in the cheek" way of describing people and situations.For this Jane Austen's tales offer a rippling sense of pleasure to her readers.

Jane Austen's Portrayal Of Marriage In Pride And Prejudice

2867 words - 11 pages Jane Austen's Portrayal of Marriage in Pride and Prejudice Marriage plays an extremely important role in Jane Austen's novel 'Pride and Prejudice'. The novel begins with the sentence "It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife." This single sentence extremely significant in the fact that it is strongly connected with one of the main themes of the