Pride And Prejudice

In her novels, Jane Austen employs the timelessly effective characterization agents of dialogue, action, and point of view to cleverly manipulate the readerís emotions towards the characters. Austen successfully creates heroins in a time that it was not social acceptable to think of women in a heroic role. She is so successful in applying these characterization techniques in her story lines that she molds a positive feeling towards strong females without the reader even realizing the influence the authorís agents have had, at the same time creating a very entertaining story. In Pride and Prejudice as well as Mansfield Park for example, Jane Austen creates characters who are some of the finest products of strong and intelligent women, yet do not loose their femininity, of our civilization. She accomplishes this feat by using the dialogue and action of the characters to manipulate the readerís feelings towards these women. Austen also uses irony, satire and humor in all of her novels to show how ridiculous conventional Victorian country life was. She had a plethera of social commentary to make, and although women in her time period were conventionally outspoken, she used her novels as a means to show women could be intelligent, humorous, and strong without loosing their femininity.
Jane Austen was a child of the Enlightenment, an age when reason was valued while many romantic traditions were slowly coming to light in society. As one of the educated and intelligent women emerging from this era, Austen used the character of Elizabeth Bennet, in Pride and Prejudice, to epitomize the harmonious balance between reason and emotion in a woman, making her a very likeable character to the reader.
In Pride and Prejudice, Elizabeth\'s strength of character is emphasized by its contrast with the weak, näive acceptance of Jane\'s character, the instability and excess of Mrs. Bennet\'s and the blind, sheep like following of Kitty\'s. Her strength is also shown in her rejections of the proposals of Mr. Collins and Darcy. Unlike her mother, she does not base her choice of love on the financial security that they could give to her, and has the strength and willingness to reject them. This is a prime example of Austenís social commentary. She skillfully manipulates the reader into likeing this character, but she gives her features that in everyday life people would think negativly of. This is especially evident in her rejection of Darcy\'s initial proposal, when she displays a great deal of strength in her anger due to her belief that he has willfully prevented Jane and Bingley\'s marriage and wronged Wickham by refusing to grant him the property that the old Mr. Darcy bestowed upon him. In both cases, the man is self-assured that his proposal will be accepted, and as a result Elizabeth\'s rejections are in proportion to the size of the blows that their egos receive. In Rosings, she does not let Lady Catherine tyrannize her as "the mere satellites of money and rank, she thought she could witness without trepidation." The Lucases and Collinses are submissive to Lady Catherine, with Maria being "frightened almost out of her senses", and it is probable that society as a whole behaves likewise, as Elizabeth suspects she is "the first creature who had ever dared to trifle with such dignified impertinence". Austen again portrays her as a rebel against ideas of class, popular in the day, when Lady Catherine pays a visit to her to ensure that she does not marry Darcy and Elizabeth refuses to accept the idea that Pemberley will be "polluted" by her presence. Here Elizabeth stands up for what she believes to be right. Elizabeth also expresses her rebellion against society by not becoming accomplished in the arts, as women were expected to then.
Elizabeth\'s intelligence reveals her to be one of the few characters of the novel that really strike the reader, Austen portrays her as a sensible individual in a society largely composed of fools. Which incidently is another example of the social observations Austen makes in her novels. As the daughter of Mr. Bennet, her view of society is cynical and ironical, heightened by the presence of brainless family members and neighbors. It is her sense of irony that enables her to survive in such a society, as she