傲慢与偏见中的反讽运用
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题目: Irony in Pride and Prejudice

学 号: 0831010 学生姓名: 指导教师: 朱篱 (职称:副教授 )

二○一二 年 五 月

摘要

I 摘 要

简奥斯汀是19世纪英国著名的小说家。她继承了欧洲文学的反讽传统,以高度的艺术自觉创作了六部反讽艺术精品。反讽,作为她小说中最突出的特点,也是《傲慢与偏见》的艺术精髓。在这部小说中她对反讽的使用主要体现在三个方面:一,运用反讽表现结构和主题。二,运用反讽刻画人物。三,运用反讽描写四段婚姻。《傲慢与偏见》中的反讽艺术特色达到了炉火纯青的境界。本文试图从小说的主题结构,人物,婚姻等发面分析该作品中的反讽艺术特色及其运用,从而领略一下该作品独特的风格

关键词:关键词:简奥斯汀,傲慢与偏见,反讽

Abstract

II Abstract

Jane Austen is the famous woman novelist of Britain in the 19th century. She inherited the tradition of European literature of irony. She with a high degree of artistic consciousness created six works of irony. Irony, as the most striking feature in her novels, is also the artistic essence of Pride and Prejudice . In this novel, she mainly uses the irony in three aspects: first, to performance the structure and theme; second to portray characters; third, to reveal four sections with different marital. The artistic features of the irony in Pride and Prejudice reached the consummate point. This paper attempts to analyze the use of irony in the work from the theme, the structure, the character, the marriage and other aspects of the novel, in order to enjoy the unique style of the work.

Keywords : Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice, irony

Contents

III Contents

CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION .......................................................... 1

1.1The Background of Austen and Her Pride and Prejudice . ........................... 1

1.1.1 The Background of Austen ........................................................................................... 1

1.1.2 The Background of Pride and Prejudice ...................................................................... 1

1.2 The Introduction of Irony . ............................................................................. 2 CHAPTER 2 APPRECIATION OF IRONY IN STRUCTURE AND

THEME . ................................................................................................... 3

2.1 Appreciation of Irony in Theme . ................................................................... 3

2.2 Appreciation of Irony in Plot and Language ............................................... 3 CHAPTER 3 IRONY OF CHARACTERS IN PRIDE AND

PREJUDICE ............................................................................................ 5

3.1 Irony of "Flat Character" ............................................................................. 5

3.1.1 Irony of Mrs.Bennet ...................................................................................................... 5

3.1.2 Irony of Mr.Collins . ....................................................................................................... 6

3.2 Irony of "Round Character" ........................................................................ 7

3.2.1 Irony of Elizabeth . ......................................................................................................... 7 CHAPTER 4 IRONY OF MARRIAGE IN PRIDE AND

PREJUDICE ............................................................................................ 9

4.1 Irony in the Marriage of Mr. Collins and Charlotte . .................................. 9

4.2 Irony in the Marriage of Wickham with Lydia ........................................... 9

4.3 Irony in the Marriage of Mr. Bingley with Jane ....................................... 10

4.4 Irony in the Marriage of Mr. Darcy with Elizabeth . ................................. 10

CHAPTER 5 CONCLUSION ............................................................. 13

REFERENCES ..................................................................................... 15

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS ................................................................. 17

Irony in Pride and Prejudice

1 Chapter 1 Introduction

1.1The Background of Austen and Her Pride and Prejudice

1.1.1 The Background of Austen

Jane Austen (1775-1817) was born in Hampshire, a country priest family located in Hants, the village of Kingston, Sidemen in north England. She was a beautiful, talented middle class woman with extraordinary temperament and good cultivation. She is the first important English woman novelist. Her career belongs to the Romantic Period. Her six novels -Sense and Sensibility , Pride and Prejudice, Northanger Abbey , Manshifeierde Manor, Emma , Persuasion all describe more than marriage.” [1] Her works show characters' abound of wit, humor, delicate, irony and charm. She was popular all through the 19th and in the 20th century and she has become almost a cult figure to many well-known authors.

However, her marriage is like a blank paper in her 42 years real lifetime. Going through the finest time, but eventually without meeting a comfortable partner, she gave up her love. Going through the sweet and bitter feeling helped her to write the great work Pride and Prejudice. [2]

1.1.2 The Background of Pride and Prejudice

Pride and Prejudice is the most enduringly popular novel written by Jane Austen. It talks about trivial matters of love, marriage and family life between country squires and fair ladies in Britain in the 18th century. The plot is very simple. That is how the young ladies choose their husbands. “At that time , according to the social conditions in Britain, a good marriage for a young woman was critical. This phenomenon was closely associated with the British society and the status of women in the society. In the 19th century, women were not well respected compared with the ones in the present society. There was no equality between woman and man. Women were considered to be inferior to men in terms of intelligence and capacity. The central life of women was forced to be staying at home, and their roles were to deal with the family affairs, such as taking care of the children and serving for the husband.” [3]

People naturally thought that women should be submissive to their husbands. The virtues of women were patient and deferent. They must recognize their inherent inferiority to men, so they must restrict their abilities without conditions. Although the status of women was slow, few of them expressed dissatisfaction about their own destiny. At that time, many middle-class young women had three solutions: getting married; staying at home as old maids or working as the female family teachers. The income of female family teacher was very low, and the status was low as well. It was very difficult for them to change or swap out of this status. No one would like to be a maid forever. Therefore, in terms of young women, especially those who didn’t have enough properties, to get married was the only way for them to gain respect, stability and social status. [11]

Pride and Prejudice is Jane Austen's masterpiece. In this great book, Austen fully critiques some bad phenomenon and amply demonstrates her point about love and marriage. The novel deals with every life of the big and small landowners and families in the English countryside, particularly with the sense of love and marriage of younger members of these families to satirize the marriage based on money. From irony, we can also appreciate the love and marriage between the ladies and gentlemen of the landed gentry. The complicated pride and prejudice between the

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2 hero and the heroine make the novel more vivid and believable and the characters more truthful than ever.

1.2 The Introduction of Irony

Irony is a broad term referring to the recognition of a reality different from the masking appearance. It is contrast or a difference between the way things seem and the way they really are. Irony is use of words to convey the opposite of their literal meaning. It is a statement or situation where the meaning is contradicted by the appearance or presentation of the idea. Irony in modern American and English literature is complex and elusive. It presupposes both intelligence and at least some type of moral awareness on the part of the reader. The ironist appears detached, yet all the time he directs the reader's response to amusement, to scorn, to blame and to indignation. Or in other words, he is not being ironic for the sake of irony, but on the contrary, he is making a case all the time.

Irony can be classified into three kinds: verbal irony, situational irony and dramatic irony. Irony is the most striking feature in Jane Austen's novels. Pride and Prejudice, for instance, is steeped in irony. To put it in other words, it is an artistic blend of ironic and dramatic design. Almost everything in this novel, be it related to the context or to the style, points to an ironic contrast between “appearance” and ”reality”. It is the complex handling of "First Impressions" that lends to Austen's irony. As an ingenious work, the masterpiece of Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice employs the ironic technique in characterization, structure, theme and so on, which has made a great realistic comic work of the novel.

Irony in Pride and Prejudice

3 Chapter 2 Appreciation of Irony in Structure and Theme

2.1 Appreciation of Irony in Theme

The theme of Pride and Prejudice is the capitalists' marriage. It is a process of how ladies marry rich men in capitalism society. Thinking carefully about the opening sentence in Pride and Prejudice ,” It is a truth universally acknowledged that a single main possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife." [4] However, the novel is about how young ladies hunt husbands. In the18th century in England, because handicraft industry was replaced by machine building, women's social position had dropped to marriage to an enormous extent, which was taken as a means to change women's position, and which became the most important thing in their life. In Pride and Prejudice, Mr. and Ms Bonnet’s property is "entailed in default of heirs male, on a distant relation." That means there will be no other guarantee for their daughters' future lives, but their perspective marriages. In this process, money plays an important role. Without money, Mr. Bennet woould not be wild enjoyment when Mr. Darcy proposes to Elizabeth. Without money, Wickham would not marry Lydia. Without money, Mr. Bingley and Jane would not lead a happy life after they get married...All these aspects are coordinated with the first sentence of the novel. So, the so-called "a single man in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a wife" is not at all "a truth universally acknowledged", but only Mrs Bennet's own wishful thinking, and the real "truth universally acknowledged" is "a woman without property must be in want of a husband with a good fortune".[5] Thus the opening sentence establishes the lively and satirical tone of the whole book. Austen uses three Miss Bennets' marriages and Mr.Collins' marriage to prove this truth and she points out the nature of marriage: marriage is the combination of exchange of money and benefits. Money controls their "facial" love and money decides their marriage. Here, Austen uses situational irony to satirize this kind of marriage. At the same time, she has her own view: marriage should be based on love much more than money

2.2 Appreciation of Irony in Plot and Language In Pride and Prejudice, plot is constituted by a series of dramatic scenes. Among them, the irony is everywhere, penetratiing these scenes and plot. However, what constitutes these scenes is not a scene, nor is the portrayal of the character features, but the dialogue and chat between characters, and plot becomes a collection of dialogue. For example, there is a dialogue full of witty irony and drama:

"Oh! Single, my dear, to be sure! A single man of large fortune; four or five thousand a year. What a fine thing for our girls!"

"How so? How can it affect them?"

"My dear Mr. Bennet," replied his wife, "how can you be so tiresome! You must know that I am thinking of his marrying one of them."

"Is that his design in settling here?"

"Design! Nonsense, how can you talk so! But it is very likely that he MAY fall in love with one of them, and therefore you must visit him as soon as he comes."

……

"Mr. Bennet, how can you abuse your own children in such a way? You take delight in vexing me. You have no compassion for my poor nerves."

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4 "You mistake me, my dear. I have a high respect for your nerves. They are my old friends. I have heard you mention them with consideration these last twenty years at least." Through the description of these dialogue, an old lady who is flimsy, in lack of intelligence, neurotic and an old man who is cunning, are showing in front of our eyes. The author, hidden in the behind of characters, by letting them have free dialogue and creating innuendo in the dialogue, conveys the endless irony through it. The dialogue among Elizabeth, Mr. Darcy, Mr. Collins' and Lady Catherine's constitute the backbone of the plot. It is the mocking tone, the ironic language and ridiculing text, that depict the image of a group of clowns. The performance of the character personality, the relationship between characters provide a carrier to the organization of plot structure. The irony of the language is an important foundation of the performance of the theme. It reflect the full range of ironic characteristics of Pride and Prejudice.

[6]

Irony in Pride and Prejudice

5 Chapter 3 Irony of Characters in Pride and Prejudice

Typical portraitral of characters is the basic feature of realistic novel. Austen made a lot of comedy characters in Pride and Prejudice . The kind of successful characterization is more thanks to the great irony of language used by Austin in the description of the character. When these comic characters make us smile or laugh, we will analysis them on rational understanding and rhetoric. You will see Austin make extensive use of irony language in the description of these characters. Forster divides characters in the novel into "flat character" and "round character" according to their personality, unity and diversity. Hardy uses this theory to divide characters in Pride and Prejudice into "caricatured character" and "sketch character". Austen uses large amounts of ironies to portray these two kinds of characters.

3.1 Irony of "Flat Character"

In Pride and Prejudice, there are a lot of "flat characters". The feature of these characters is that their personality is exaggerated by the narrator, but for some aspect, they are till like common people and lead an ordinary life. These characters' personality is unitary and satirized by the narrator. The typical ones in Pride and Prejudice are Mrs. Bennet, Mr. Collins, Mr. Whickham and Mr. Binley.

3.1.1 Irony of Mrs.Bennet

In Pride and Prejudice, Mrs. Bennet is a well-known comic character. And also, she is the most typical one of "flat characters". When the author narrates and describes her, she spares no effort to make irony of her. "She was a woman of meaning understanding, little information, and uncertain temper. When she was discontented, she fancied herself nervous. The business of her life was to get her daughters married; its solace was visiting and news." Mrs. Bennet herself proves this comment true. She has not even seen Mr. Bingley, but she considers him as "the rightful property" for her daughters and thinks of his marrying one of them when she hears that he gets five thousand every year. In addition, she is so ignorant and foolish that she can't even realize that her husband is mocking at her--"you are as handsome as any one of them, and Mr. Bingley might like you the best one of the party ".

Another scene, when Mr. Bennet refers to Mr. Collins, his cousin,"who, when I am dead, may turn you all out of this house as soon as he pleases" Mrs. Bennet cried, "Oh, my dear, Ii cannot bear to hear that mentioned. Pray do not talk of that odious man" But when Mr.Collins plans to choose one of her daughters as his wife, she wants to help him marrying her second daughter Elizabeth. To her surprise, Elizabeth refuses Mr.Collins' proposal. When Mrs.Bennet kowns that Mr.Collins turns to her neighbour, gets success in proposing and gets married at last, "she was in fact too much overpowered to say a great deal; but no sooner had he left them than her feeling found a rapid vent. In the first place, she persisted in disbelieving the whole of the matter; secondly, she was very sure that Mr.Collins had been taken in; thirdly, she trusted that they would never be happy together; and fourthly, that the match might be broken off. "This quotation is a irony to describe Mrs.Bennet's nature as ignorance, selfishness and savageness.

Besides that, after Lydia and Whickham run away, Mrs.Bennet not only worry about the whereabouts of daughter but also worry about her daughter's new wedding dress. The two

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6 feelings intertwined, tormenting her. "Mrs.Bennet could hardly contain herself. As soon as Jane had read Mr.Gardiner's hope of Lydia's being soon married, her joy burst forth, and every following sentence added to its exuberance. She was now in an irritation as violent from delight as she had ever been fidgety from alarm and vexation. To know that her daughter would be married was enough. She was disturbed by no fear for her felicity, nor humble by any remembrance of her misconduct." "My dear, dear Lydia! She will be married! She will be married at sixteen! ...... But the clothes, the wedding clothes!...... Lizzy, my dear, run down to your father, and ask him how much he will give her. Stay, stay, I will go myself......" This passage’s vivid description makes Mrs.Bennet's moody image fleshed.

3.1.2 Irony of Mr.Collins

Jane Austen made few comments on her characters. We know the characters gradually by listening to their voice and observing their behavior. Next, let's take Mr. Collins as an example. Austen begins her description of Mr. Collins with an ironic tone: "Mr. Collins was not a sensible man, and the deficiency of nature had been but little assisted by education or society; the greatest part of his life having been spent under the guidance of an illiterate and miserly father; and though he belonged to one of the universities, he had merely kept the necessary terms, without forming at it any useful acquaintance. The subjection in which his father had brought him up had given him originally great humility of manner; but it was now a good deal counteracted by the self-conceit of a weak head, living in retirement, and the consequential feelings of early and unexpected prosperity. A fortunate chance had recommended him to Lady Catherine de Bourgh when the living of Hunsford was vacant; and the respect which he felt for her high rank, and his veneration for her as his patroness, mingling with a very good opinion of himself, of his authority as a clergyman, and his right as a rector, made him altogether a mixture of pride and obsequiousness, self-importance and humility. "It is full of verbal ironies in this paragraph.

Besides that. His each word, each movement and each attempt embodies the bitter satire upon him. After he arrived at Mr. Bennet's punctually, he is just like the benefactor of the Bennets to announce that he will marry one daughter of Mr. Bennet in order to cure the loss that he brings to the Bennets. At the beginning, he wants to propose to Mr. Bennet's eldest daughter Jane but after having known that she is engaged, "Mr. Collins had only to change from Jane to Elizabeth--and it was soon done--done while Mrs. Bennet was stirring the fire. Elizabeth, equally next to Jane in birth and beauty, succeeded her of course." From theses words, we can see that Mr. Collins is conceited and foolish. [7]

When Elizabeth refuses his proposal, he concludes "you are not serious in your rejection of me, I shall choose to attribute it to your wish of increasing my love by suspense, according to the usual practice of elegant females." This scene fully displays Jane Austen's talent for comedy. What's more interesting and attractive is that Austen never stops ridiculing Mr. Collins even though he has got married. When Elizabeth calls at his parsonage, she "was prepared to see him in his glory; and she could not help fancying that in displaying the good proportion of the room, its aspect and its furniture, he addressed himself particularly to her, as if wishing to make her feel what she had lost in refusing him." Thus, Mr. Collins' hypocrisy, self-deception and foolishness are portrayed most vividly.

Irony in Pride and Prejudice

7 3.2 Irony of "Round Character"

"Round characters" in Pride and Prejudice are leading characters who have a more complex personality than "flat characters". According to the development of the plot, Austen portrays these leading characters by means of irony, which sometimes is not clear and direct, and it makes these characters' personality become more vivid and impressive.

3.2.1 Irony of Elizabeth

For some time at least, Jane Austen wrote her sister: "I must confess that I think her(Elizabeth) as delightful a creature as ever appeared in print; and how I shall be able to tolerate those who do not like her at least I do not know. "Yet, Jane Austen spares no satire upon such a delightful creature.

Elizabeth is the most popular character because she is witty, intelligent and unconventional. She "has something more of quickness than her sisters". Compared with Miss Bingley, Elizabeth has dignity and excellence of spirit. Elizabeth is the only sensible person in the foolish world where she lives but she can not avoid that "truth universally acknowledged", so she takes part in Mr. Bingley's party. As a result, she is laughed by Mr. Darcy. It is a situational irony of Elizabeth. Moreover, she is too hasty in judgement and too easily taken in by appearances. On the one hand, she is slighted by Mr. Darcy at a ball and then safely promised her mother never to dance with him. On the other hand, she is attracted by Mr. Wickham, whose appearance is greatly in her favour. She refuses Mr. Darcy's engagement to win her own dignity but she is cheated and confused by Mr. Wickham. "Elizabeth honored him for such feelings, and thought him handsomer than ever as he expressed them." The relationship between Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy is worsened by Wickham's ill words to Darcy. And we can find that Mr. Wickham cheats Elizabeth, which satirizes Elizabeth's weakness of intolerance and liking to accept the flattery.

When Mr. Darcy ask her for engagement, Elizabeth tries to bring down his pride and has satisfaction of refusing his proposal by saying that "you are the last man in the world whom I could ever be prevailed on to marry". This ridiculous refusal is the irony of Elizabeth's prejudice. Later, she experiences a hard process of conquering prejudice: she feels ashamed and regretful when Mr. Darcy has written to her to tell her the truth; she realizes her prejudice in the invitation of Derberley and shows her admiration; and the scandal of her sister's elopement makes her fall into the depression. Of course, Elizabeth finally recognizes Wickham's true face and reveals that it is the arrogant Mr. Darcy who saves the reputation of the Bennet family by arranging Lydia and Wickham's marriage. These processes form a situational irony of this "sensible person" to show that it is not easy for Elizabeth to defeat the prejudice to get the truth. These ironic things that happen to Elizabeth are just like jokes given to her by life.

Through the ironic description of Elizabeth, Austen satirizes her prejudice. She does not learn about others and herself. It shows different aspects of her personality, which is not wise. Because of the ironic contrast in changeability of Elizabeth's personality, Austen can show Elizabeth's process of "limited sensibility - the prejudice - showing wise."

In fact, this treatment of irony shows Austen's understanding of life. The fact that clever Elizabeth is laughed at points out a more serious question -- how do human beings know themselves? Both clever Elizabeth and foolish Mr. Collins do not know themselves exactly. At the same time, the satire on Elizabeth shows that the traditional perfect description of leading

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8 characters without weakness is broken off. From this point, Austen is the pioneer of using irony in the literature.

Irony in Pride and Prejudice

9 Chapter 4 Irony of Marriage in Pride and Prejudice

Pride and Prejudice shows the ordinary lives and feelings of the ordinary people. They were linked up in a harmonious order under the author's meticulous concepts. The work mainly describes four marriages: Mr. Collins with Charlotte, Wickham with Lydia, Mr. Bingley with Jane and Mr. Darcy with Elizabeth. Two are the main and assisted by the other two assistant marriages. On the surface, it is a novel talking about love, but in fact, it is a novel about irony of marriage in which Austen satirizes the marriage based on money and society position.

The whole novel is linked by money, position and marriage. At the beginning of the novel, Mrs. Bennet is urgent to make her five daughters get married when a single man of large fortune moves into Netherfield Park, because "It is a truth universally acknowledged that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife." So, she wants him to marry one of her daughters although she knows nothing about him. It is the verbal irony. It seems like a vivid description of a fact. More briefly, it is not right that a man of large fortune must be in want of wife but it is right that a single lady should marry a man of a large fortune. [8]

4.1 Irony in the Marriage of Mr. Collins and Charlotte

Austen satirizes Mr. Collins from the beginning to the end. So dose his marriage. The marriage of Mr. Collins with Charlotte is the reflection of the "truth universally acknowledged." The family’s property couldn't be given to a daughter according to the custom at that time, and the family without a son can grant the wealth to the nephew. Thus, one of Bennet nephew -Collins can inherit the family wealth. What's more, he is promoted by Lady Catherine De Bourgh. He gets the position of parson, has his won house and earns enough money. Therefore, he only lacks a tamed wife who can keep house and accompany him. Because of his master Lady Catherine's advise, he urges to get married.

So, after he has arrived at Longburn, he begins to observe Mr. Bennet's daughters carefully and proposes to Elizabeth at last. His words of proposal are full of verbal ironies. Three reasons for marriage are not related to the essence of marriage - love. Eventually, Elizabeth refuses him with sharp tongue. But Collins quickly finds comfort from Charlotte who desires to get love from a male and believes marriage is the elegant way for a girl with some education, and then they get married as quickly as lightning. Miss Lucas chooses this fool pastor just for money. Mr. Collins is rich while Charlotte has neither money nor dowry. A mediocre love, a dull marriage has been established effortlessly. Such marriage without love is too practical, so it is a kind of superficial marriage without happiness.

The marriage of Mr. Collins with Charlotte is just an example that people who live in the 19th century give up their own dream in order to pursue the society benefit. Austen makes good use of irony to show her sympathy and criticism for Mr. Collins and Charlotte. [9]

4.2 Irony in the Marriage of Wickham with Lydia

In the novel, the second marriage is the marriage of Wickham with Lydia. If Austen still shows a little of sympathy of Mr. Collins and Charlotte, then, in the marriage of this couple, it is full of Austen's ironies and criticisms.

The first impression of Wickham is handsome and sensible, but with the development of the

无锡太湖学院学士学位论文

10 plot, his ugliness appears. Originally he is well-treated by the family and the friends. However, he comes down in the world because of his misbehavior. He gets into debt. So, he wants to get money to become rich and change his social status through marriage. Marriage is also a way to approach the talents, but he is a man without any responsibility. He does nothing except assailing a woman with obscenities. In his opinion, love is only recreation. For his purpose, he entices Lydia and gets her love easily, because she is young, innocent and vainglorious, and loves to go easy and hates to work hard. He does not love her but the wealth of her family.

Their elopement is not the result of love but just Wickham’s desire to be companied by a woman to avoid the loneliness on the running road. The marriage is admitted on the condition of Darcy's help. More ironic is that they never feel ashamed when they get home. Austen use the dialogue between Lydia and her mother to satirize this "Well, mamma," said she, when they were all returned to the breakfast room, "and what do you think of my husband? Is not he a charming man? I am sure my sisters must all envy me. I only hope they may have half my good luck. They must all go to Brighton. That is the place to get husbands. What a pity it is, mamma, we did not all go." The dramatic irony is shown here clearly.

This marriage is one without love. They don’t the real meaning of marriage, they only want to satisfy their aspiration. So we can say this is a kind of impromptu love and marriage without true love and responsibility. It is based on money and sex completely. Such kind of marriage is doomed to be a tragedy.

4.3 Irony in the Marriage of Mr. Bingley with Jane

Mr. Bingley and Jane are the happiest couple in the novel, and it seems that there is no irony of these two characters. But their marriage still does not avoid the ironic "truth universally acknowledged". They are a combination of the able man and the beautiful girl. Their marriage is just the dream of Mrs. Bennet, so, their marriage is an irony of this "truth universally acknowledged". Jane love Mr. Bingley deeply but she never tells it to anyone because of confidence. In her opinion, Mr. Bingley does not love her. So she feels depressed. What's more, Mr. Bingley always gives in when he faces the criticism of Jane's social position. These things prove they do not have enough encouragement to revolt against social pressure to pursue their own happiness.

As we all know, if there is no help of Elizabeth, they will never get marriage though they love each other. These aspects are full of ironies

4.4 Irony in the Marriage of Mr. Darcy with Elizabeth

The fourth marriage is the main theme of the work. That is Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth’s marriage. Though it is the most successful marriage in the novel, it is full of situational ironies and dramatic ironies in the process.

At the beginning, Elizabeth rejects the pursuer -- Darcy, because she does not like him and even looks down upon him, and Mr. Darcy does not like her either. However, Austen gives our readers a surprise: they fall in love with each and get married in the end. It is a situational irony of the love in the 18th century.

Darcy is a man with tall figure and good manner. He is handsome, rich and powerful. So he

Irony in Pride and Prejudice

11 is the ideal husband of most girls. But he has grown up in the surroundings with strong sense of power, so he always is selfish and arrogant, and he has a critical look at each individual, except the family members. He is not concerned about anyone else and looks down upon anyone else. Therefore, when he first arrives in the village, he finds all the persons are far away from those imagined. Gradually, he has to admit that Elizabeth is beautiful, distinct and witness. He proposes to Elizabeth. He thinks Elizabeth is born in a low social position, so he is confident that Elizabeth must accept his proposal. But it is clear for readers and Austen that he must be refused by Elizabeth. It is just a dramatic irony of the marriage based on social position in upper class.

On the other hand, Elizabeth shows prejudice toward Mr. Darcy too much. She believes that Mr. Darcy is proud, because of Mr. Darcy's pride at the ball and the things about Darcy that Whickham has told to her. So, she refuses Darcy's proposal the first time. However, in the end, Elizabeth conquers prejudice and Darcy conquers pride, and they live together happily. This is a dramatic irony. Moreover, it is agreeable with the beginning that both money and social position are the bases of marriage. Elizabeth finally marries rich Darcy though she refuses him the first time. Which can not avoid the nature of marriage. That is money. Austen satirizes this kind of money sharply.

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12

Irony in Pride and Prejudice

13 Chapter 5 Conclusion

Irony permeates the entire work of Pride and Prejudice . The work contains an overall structure of irony. Undoubtedly this structure makes language representation reveal deep attitude, which is the most important factor that contributes to a good understanding of aesthetic space, and it is the core of the charm of the work. As a language skill, or a rhetorical device, the use of irony makes the theme become more distinct, characters more vivid and fun, and plot having more twists and turns. It is because of the use of irony that renders Pride and Prejudice an enduring charm. [10]

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14

Irony in Pride and Prejudice

15 References

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[3] 吴翔林. 英美文学选读[M].北京:中国对外翻译出版公司,2005:84-85

[4] Jane Austen. Pride and Prejudice[M]. Shanghai: Shanghai World Book Press, 2007:1-3

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无锡太湖学院学士学位论文

16

Irony in Pride and Prejudice

17 Acknowledgements

As a student with little literature talent and research experience, it is impossible for me to complete this thesis alone. My supervisor, Professor ZhuLi, he has given me many valuable instructions and suggestions since last semester. Thank him for the references he provided and patience he devoted. Through his patient instructions, I come to realize the need to improve my proficiency.

Thanks to the diligent teachers of School of Lake Tai for their devotion in the last four years, I could improve my proficiency as an English major. My teachers, like Mrs.Li Xun and Mrs Din Jia Li, their knowledge and personalities are sure to exert lifetime influence on me.

Last but not least, my deepest thankfulness goes to my parents for their love and education. Without their devotion, I can not enjoy my study in the university and receive so many people’s help in thesis writing and all other things.

If there should be an ending in my acknowledgements, I want to say that all words written here are dwarfed before the deep affection inside my heart.