In chapter 34 of Pride and Prejudice, Jane Austen employs numerous language techniques. These include the overall approach, which combines omniscient third-person point of view narration with dialogue. When Mr. Darcy sometimes speaks at length while Elizabeth Bennet silently listens, such speeches are monologues. Specific literary and rhetorical devices that the author employs include irony, hyperbole, and anaphora.
The chapter, like the rest of the novel, is narrated by an unnamed person. This third-person narrator is omniscient, meaning that they know the actions and thoughts of all the characters. In this chapter, the only two characters present are Darcy and Elizabeth. When Darcy enters the room, he begins speaking to Elizabeth without waiting for her reply. One monologue that he pronounces begins with “In such cases as this….”
After listening, astonished, to his declaration of love, Elizabeth engages in a heated dialogue with him. Darcy, hurt by her numerous criticisms, uses verbal irony when he says the opposite of what he means:
I thank you for explaining it so fully. My faults, according to this calculation, are heavy indeed!
Following considerable discussion, during which Elizabeth understands that he is proposing marriage, she dismisses his suit. She uses hyperbole, which is extreme exaggeration for effect. She proclaims,
I had not known you a month before I felt that you were the last man in the world whom I could ever be prevailed on to marry.
After Darcy leaves, Elizabeth is incredulous about their conversation. She silently reviews her criticism of Darcy, using anaphora, or initial repetition, in a long list of his many faults:
But his pride, his abominable pride, his shameless avowal of what he had done with respect to Jane, his unpardonable assurance..., his cruelty toward [Wickham]…, soon overcame the pity….