How can Pride and Prejudice be read as a satire?

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M.P. Ossa eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Pride and Prejudice does offer a myriad of humorous characters, situations, and outcomes that are a reflection of Jane Austen's own views of society. The character of Mr. Collins for example, is worthy of humor. His obsession with Lady Catherine de Bourgh and Lady Catherine's own high importance and exaggerated mannerisms have traces of mockery blended in with passive sarcasm. The relationship between Jane and Bingley is humorous as well because both are really very plain and weak. If one sees how their love affair develops, a lot of blanks spaces will remain open. How in the world did they even fall in love? Why so into each other? How tacky they are!

Elizabeth's teasing of Darcy could be considered humorous because he mainly remained quiet taking it all in. The Lucases are tacky and corny with Sir Lucas's title and his references to the St. James's.

Even imagining the actions of Lydia, Mary, Elizabeth's father, Mrs. Bennet, and Kitty during the ball at Bingleys and how it embarrassed the world out of Elizabeth and Jane is also a clear criticism towards country folk versus the fashionable city folk.

For these reasons, Pride and Prejudice can be a drama and a comedy at any moment. Depending on how we read it.