Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

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What literary effects are in Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen?

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Interestingly, "literary effects" is used four different ways in literary discussion. Literary effect is:

  1. synonymous with "literary devices"
  2. the effects of something external on contemporaneous literature, e.g, war's effect on literature (For Whom the Bell Tolls, Hemingway)
  3. the effects of literature on something external; e.g., on learning writing skills
  4. the effects of the narrative on the reader's consciousness, reason or emotions; e.g., social action, enlightenment, depression.

The use of the preposition "in" for "effects are in Pride and Prejudice" strongly suggests you mean the first usage: literary effects: synonymous with "literary devices." Therefore, I'll briefly describe some important literary effects/devices Austen uses in Pride and Prejudice.

Aside from Austen's famous ironic narratorial voice, she employs situational irony to good effect. In the first chapter, where a skilled author develops literary effects that carry throughout the narrative, Mrs. Bennet ironically wishes one of her daughters to be "happily settled at Netherfield" thus leading the way for "the others to be equally well married." This is ironic because of all the nearby mothers who were wishing the identical thing, Mrs. Bennet's wish came true.

To be fond of dancing was a certain step towards falling in love; and very lively hopes of Mr. Bingley's heart were entertained [by all].

Another situational irony also involves Mrs. Bennet. In Chapter 2, Mrs. Bennet, ironically speculates that it will be Lydia who dances with Bingley, suggesting it will be she whom he chooses for marriage. This is ironic because Lydia ends up ill-married, not at Netherfield and not to Bingley! She marries the villain Wickham.  

"Lydia, my love, though you are the youngest, I dare say Mr. Bingley will dance with you at the...

(The entire section contains 568 words.)

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