Literary devices

Imagery

Jane Austen uses only little imagery in Pride and Prejudice, instead focusing on realism, precision, and dialogue. One example of a simile is when Elizabeth talks about Wickham with Jane: "… ‘Your profusion makes me saving; and if you lament over him much longer, my heart will be as light as a feather.’ '' (p. 157)

In the phrase “Elizabeth made no answer, and walked on, her heart swelling with indignation” (p. 130), the author constructs a metaphor to suggest Elizabeth’s heart was hurt. 

Personification also make up the imagery of the novel. For example: “ ‘His pride,’ said Miss Lucas, ‘does not offend me so much as pride often does’ ” (p. 13). In this case, pride is given human attributes, suggesting the significance of pride in the novel.

Hyperbole

Hyperbole means to exaggerate a situation, character trait etc. A number of characters frequently use hyperbole to express themselves, with Mrs Bennet being the queen of hyperbole: " ‘I am sure,’ she added, ‘if it was not for such good friends I do not know what would become of her, for she is very ill indeed, and suffers a vast deal, though with the greatest patience in the world’" (p. 29). Here, Mrs Bennet is exaggerating Jane's illness, making it seem like Jane is dying. Mrs Bennet also frequently exaggerates her own suffering.

In another example, the hyperbole even includes tricolon (repeating things in threes): “Her manners were pronounced to be very bad indeed, a mixture of pride and impertinence; she had no conversation, no style, no beauty” (p. 24). In this case, it emphasises the unpleasant manners of Miss Bingley and her strong dislike of Elizabeth.

Antithesis

Antithesis refers to creating opposition between people or situat...

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