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"Pride And Prejudice" By Jane Austen

2309 words - 9 pages

In her novel 'Pride and Prejudice', Jane Austen makes fun of her society by portraying "follies and nonsense" in her characters. These "follies and nonsense" are communicated in diverse ways and lighten the atmosphere of the novel by juxtaposing criticism and ridicule. Some characters talk a lot of nonsense and are made to be laughed at such as Mr Collins, Mrs Bennet and her daughters Mary, Lydia and Kittie. Follies are also shown through irresponsible behaviour such as the elopement of Lydia with Mr Wickham, and ill-judgments and bad decisions made by Mr Bennet, Mr Darcy, Mr Bingley... The Bingley sisters are also made fun of for their frivolities and follies. And although the characters all evolve throughout the novel, solely Mr Darcy and Elizabeth Bennet realise and overcome the "follies and nonsense" to finally come to their senses and marry one another.Most of the characters talk nonsense in the novel 'Pride and Prejudice' but few are parodied as much as Lydia Bennet. The youngest of five sisters, she seeks attention by 'blurting out' silly comments and frequently makes a fool of herself in public. She is one of those "people whose first object in life is a joke" as she takes nothing seriously. Her "follies and nonsense" are particularly perceived through her speech "Jane (the oldest sister) will be quite an old maid soon, I declare. She is almost three and twenty! Lord, how ashamed I should be of not being married before three and twenty!" where she is insensitive and speaks little sense. Her excessive, idle speech "I am glad I bought my bonnet, if it is only for the fun of having another bandbox!", obsessiveness with flirting and with officers "Have you seen any pleasant men? Have you had any flirting?", and constant exclamations create a caricaturised character who quickly makes a fool of herself and of those around her: "If you were aware, of the very great disadvantage to us all, which must arise from the public notice of Lydia's unguarded and imprudent manner" (Elizabeth). Her constant flirting with the officers give her a bad reputation, especially when she elopes with Mr Wickham, and lives with him unmarried. In Austen's time, this was seen as a great impediment and nearly jeopardises the other sister's from marrying well, which Elizabeth perceives through Mr Darcy's behaviour when he finds out: "Every thing must sink under such a proof of family weakness, such an assurance of the deepest disgrace."Another character who shows the same kind of excessiveness as Lydia in her ill-timed comments is Mrs Bennet. She too is extreme and exclamative, self involved, and constantly complains about her "poor nerves" although she claims she never does (complain): "People who suffer as I do from nervous complaints can have no great inclination for talking. Nobody can tell what I suffer! But it is always so. Those who do not complain are never pitied."; she is jealous of her neighbours: "the Lucases are very artful people indeed, sister. They are...

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