March 3, 2010
Comment on the dance scene using a rhetorical analysis. What does the narrator with her moving perspective bring you to understand about society, Lizzy, about pride and prejudice? How?
One of the most unique techniques used by Jane Austen, in Pride and Prejudice, is her moving narrative perspective. In several parts of the novel, the narrator changes its "position", so that the reader finds her closer to the opinion of one or a group of characters. In the third chapter, which depicts the ball scene, the narrative perspective changes position from being closer to Mrs. Bennet, to Lizzy, to Mr. Bingley, etc. This narrative style helps the reader to understand more about society, Lizzy, and pride and prejudice.
The society of the Regency Period is environment the ...view middle of the document...
This shows how men were interested in finding a partner when going to one of these dances. Therefore, the narrative perspective helps the reader understand more about society.
The narrative style also helps us see Lizzy's character with more clarity. During the ball, the narrator zooms in near to Lizzy while Mr. Bingley and Mr. Darcy such that she overhears some of their conversation. Lizzy hears what Mr. Darcy says about her beauty, "She is tolerable; but not handsome enough to tempt me...". This generates a very interesting effect on the reader. Since we know Lizzy is eavesdropping on their conversation, we cannot help but feel pity for her, for she is deemed as "not handsome enough". Therefore, through the narrative perspective, the narrator gives us a bigger understanding of Lizzy.
In addition, the narrative perspective helps the reader understand more of some of the main themes of the books: pride and prejudice. We can see that especially when the narrator zooms into the perspective of all the people at the ball. First of all, they hold a certain opinion of Darcy because of his money. However, as they find out how proud he is, their opinions quickly change. The narrator claims that,
"Mr. Darcy soon drew the attention of the room by his fine, tall person, handsome features, noble mein; and the report which was in general circulation within five minutes after his entrance, of his having ten thousand a year, […] till his manners gave a disgust which turned the tide of his popularity; for he was discovered to be proud…"
This shows how those who didn't know Mr. Darcy judged him far too early and the later on judgment they passed on him was due to his pride. This is how the narrative perspective highlighted these themes.
Therefore, one can see how important a book's narrative perspective is to a novel. Jane Austen's perspective is very unique and bring many different effects to the book.