Language

Style of writing

An important aspect when it comes to Austen's style of writing in Pride and Prejudice is the use of the epistolary genre. In the novel, characters often exchange letters which they read to themselves or out loud to others. The way they read these letters often sets a comical tone. However, letters also help us better understand characters’ feelings and thoughts, conflicts, and resolutions.

As character-building elements, consider Mr Collins’ initial letter which prompts Mr Bennet to conclude that his relative is pompous and foolish.

Finally, one of the most important letters in the novel is the one Darcy addresses to Elizabeth after she rejects his marriage proposal. The letter adds to the climax of the story and also helps us understand Darcy’s reasoning and adds to his characterisation.

There are only a few descriptive passages in the novel. As a result, the extensive use of dialogue suggests that the author’s style of writing has dramatic elements (resembling the drama genre). One relevant example of dramatic dialogue is the one between Lady Catherine de Bourgh and Elizabeth at Longbourn:

‘Though I know it must be a scandalous falsehood, though I would not injure him so much as to suppose the truth of it possible, I instantly resolved on setting off for this place, that I might make my sentiments known to you.’
‘If you believed it impossible to be true [...] I wonder you took the trouble of coming so far. What could your ladyship propose by it?’ (p. 247)

Another element of style worth observing is that sometimes characters avoid commenting on certain issues. Such is the case when Mrs Bennet compares the countryside with the city in terms of entertainment and Darcy does not say anything, although we can suspect he has an opinion on the matter. Similarly, Mr Bennet often leaves conversations with his wife without making any comment to what she is saying, although his response is implied by his ...

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