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How does the incipit of Pride and Prejudice legitimate the moral criticism of women's place in the Georgian society that it foreshadows as being the matter of the forthcoming narrative?

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  1. The importance of the dialogue as an opposition between Mr. and Mrs. Bennet
  2. The use of realism to depict how the heart can challenge moral codes of an era
  3. Austen's criticism of the women's place in society

Jane Austen's works occupy a central place in the early-19th century literature as it contributed to the link between the Enlightenment period, Romanticism, and Realism, to which she added feminism.

In the incipit of Pride and Prejudice, a work which was published in 1813, the narrator relates a conversation between Mr. and Mrs. Bennet. Mrs. Bennet informs that Mr. Bingley, a young and wealthy man, is soon to settle in a nearby house. She immediately thinks of marrying one of their daughters to this man but she faces her husband's sarcasm and mockery. Indeed, Mr. Bennet seems ironically not to feel very preoccupied by his daughter's future.

[...] However, he appears to be different in his conception of marriage. Different analyses can be made of his behaviour. For example, when he asks so? how can it affect (l. I wonder if it is whether to show that he is not really preoccupied by marrying his daughters, or to kind of check if her wife knows what could be considered as a lesson: a woman has to marry a wealthy man. This ambiguity is also made thanks to the absence of a broad flow of words. [...]


[...] Here, the couple is torn between two antithetical conceptions of married love and the future of their daughter. The narrator uses both direct and indirect showing to introduce her characters, but in a particular order. The narrator first characterises them by using indirect showing through the dialogue, particularly for Mrs. Bennet's personality, which is apprehended by the reader through her speech: she is very excited and uses a lot of expressions. For example, the reader feels the thrill of Mrs. [...]


[...] I find discordance in sentences such as is more than I engage (l. 36) in response to must indeed go and see Mr. Bingley when he comes into the neighbourhood? (l. 35). Moreover, Mrs. Bennet does not believe Lizzy is bit better than the others? (l. 42) : by using this comparison, Mrs. Bennet shows that her daughters are all equal to her eyes, with what her husband disagrees : ?they are all silly and ignorant like other girls; but Lizzy has something more of quickness than her sisters? (l. [...]


[...] Bingley to get bored the same way he is bored in the presence of his wife. This extract is truly an ironical view over a misogynist society. The narrator uses almost absurd remarks to show how women, during the period of the writing, are condemned to be the objects of men. Jane Austen criticises the reduction of womanhood to the state of a procreating device serving manly desires. She indeed introduces the reader to Mrs. Bennet by defining her hobbies in getting her daughters married. [...]

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