Significance of Letters in Pride and Prejudice

Jane Austen, the seventh daughter of a priest, wrote the novel Pride and Prejudice in 1893. Although her education level was low, she taught her own how to write numerous literary pieces. Her maiden novel was Sense and Sensibility that she released in 1811 (Copeland and Juliet 1). Pride and prejudice was set during rough times of England, but the author chose to dwell on fantasy about a blissful England where women sit and gossip.

In Pride and Prejudice, Mr. Collins wrote to Mr. Bennett in order to reveal personalities of people in the society to the reader (Devine 10). Furthermore, the letters of Darcy and Elizabeth act as windows through which the writer can peep into her characters thus exposing their flaws or strengths. The letters also lay bare gaps in education, and social standing of her different characters and they confront such traits.

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The topic, therefore, show the key significance of Austen’s letters as used by her characters Elizabeth and Darcy. The author intends to depict class, age and personality of her characters as perceived by other characters. The text also presents a new voice in which readers can listen to feelings of the characters; therefore, revealing their internal self. This aims at understanding the use of letters in a different perspective as opposed to only friendly letters (Devine 14).

The essay aims at discussing a number of positive issues pertaining to letters in Pride and Prejudice (Copeland and Juliet 192). First, we must comprehend why the author chose the literary technique of using letters to enhance communication of the characters. Therefore, the essay aims to look at the significance of responses of the characters involved. In addition, the symbolism employed by the author is necessary for the reader to puzzle out the hidden lesson behind the letters.

The use of letters in a number of chapters enables other characters to learn about their counterparts. Austen, Jane (1893) says, “When they were gone Elizabeth…chose… the examination of all… letters Jane had written to her…” (p.294). Here, Elizabeth is enraged that Mr. Darcy is still mistreating her sister.

This she learns by reading all Jane’s letters that depict a lot of unhappiness. Austen, Jane (1893) continues to reveal the exposure of Jane’s troubles as Elizabeth scrutinizes her letters. Jane is permitting her know that she is not well where she is residing. The writer wants the reader to feel the misery and pain of Elizabeth and her sister (Austen 294).

The significance of responses of characters is necessary in exposing personalities of the characters. Austen, Jane (1893) writes, “The day passed much as the day before… (and) Mr. Darcy was writing and Miss Bigley…watching the progress of his letter…” (p.72). The author illustrates an element of humor in Mr. Darcy as the woman sits by to admire him.

Austen, Jane (1893) proceeds to write how Elizabeth approaches (Austen 72). Darcy writing and flatters him how his wife will be impressed on getting that letter. Here, Austen reveals how some characters take to ridiculing their colleagues, therefore, exposing the follies of people with similar traits as her characters.

The lessons we can grasp from the author’s letters include the gift to perceive the feelings, anxieties and hopes of others in life. Austen, Jane (1893) writes, “Miss Bingley’s letter arrived, and…the… first sentence conveyed the assurance… of being settled in London…” (p.208).

The author displays an aspect of joy that people feel when they attain fantastic news, such as, excellent results in exams. Austen, Jane (1893) depicts the hopelessness of Jane when she reads a letter from her gone friends. Readers experience the desperation of the woman in losing her close friends. Thus, letters in the book manage to represent humanity in different situations of life (Austen 208).

In summary, it is clear that Jane Austen in her book Pride and Prejudice specifies the roles of letters by examination of issues of class, age, and decorous behavior among the letter writers (Devine 10). The reader observes aspects of love, hatred and humor in characters such as Elizabeth when she reacts to her sister’s letters. We also see the author ridiculing Darcy on how his wife will love the letter he is writing. This displays the premium of letter writing in Austen’s society and, therefore, an enlightened society.

In addition, the letters in Pride and Prejudice offer readers a chance to analyze the society on issues of class and education. The writer wants her readers to take the responsibility of observing the flaws of the characters through their letters and reforming where possible (Copeland and Juliet 192). The letters also act as a voice of the characters’ expectations and joys. Lastly, the use of letters in the book is a unique literary style that provides readers with reflections.

The innermost roles of Austen’s letters include the burning necessity to reveal the different phases of her characters. This involves their joys and sadness when they receive and read their letters (Devine 10). The author portrays a societal difference when the readers notice characters of quality education and acceptable recognition in the society.

They are the same people who write, receive and read their letters audibly to friends. The author intends to draw the reader to a world of class, age and education differences so that the reader can reflect and learn lessons (Copeland and Juliet 232). In conclusion, Austen wants us to see letter writing as another form of literary technique that can be effective in communicating intimate feelings.

Works Cited

Austen, Jane. Pride and Prejudice. New York, NY: Bantam Dell, 1893. Print.

Copeland, Edward and McMaster, Juliet. The Cambridge Companion to Jane Austen. New York, NY: Cambridge University Press, 2011. Print.

Devine, Jodi. Epistolary revelations. Michigan, MI: ProQuest publishers, 2007. Print.


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