What is the structure of Pride and Prejudice?      

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lsumner | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Senior Educator

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In Pride and Prejudice, the reader is captivated by the love story between Jane and Mr. Bingley as well of the love-hate relationship between Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy. The strucutre of the novel is simple, involving witty dialogue. The author has a keen eye for analysis of characters. Befitting to its name, Pride and Prejudice is an analysis of simple yet complex characters. Elizabeth is simply a character who knows what she doesn't. She does not want Mr. Darcy or does she? Austen's love story evolves throughout the story. What seems to be a simple matter of the heart becomes an analysis of complex themes such as pride and prejudice. The title is well stated in that the complex themes of pride and prejudice are conveyed through the simple strucure:
The novel has a very simple structure (basically the progenitor of the romance novel): two people should be together on the first page and end up together on the last, with various complications to fill up the rest of the book. It's in the complications where the qualities most come out that set Austen apart from her latter-day followers: witty dialogue, a sense of the brutality of individual character, and a keen, analytical eye for rivulets of emotion running through the smooth-surfaced stream of everyday events.

After reading Austen's Pride and Prejudice, the reader is completely satisfied with the outcome, but it is the journey that creates suspense for the reader:

Irony, or the contrast between the expected and the actual, is the chief literary device Austen uses to comment on the small, enclosed world of the English gentry in Pride and Prejudice. Her irony takes different forms for different characters.

Most respectfully, Austen's writes about the simple theme of family life with all its complexities:

Austen's works are models of restraint. Instead of the wild forces of nature, Austen concentrates on family life in small English towns. Instead of rampant emotionalism, Austen emphasizes a balance between reason and emotion.


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