Pride and Prejudice

The Power of Seventeen Letters

Jane Austen is one of the most revered female writers in the history of literature. Her accomplishments with her novel Pride and Prejudice are still recognized to this day. This satire has withstood the test of time largely because of the narrative techniques Austen uses throughout the novel. One method in particular is the epistolary technique, or the telling of a story through corresponding letters between the characters. Jane Austen uses the epistolary technique with seventeen letters to help reveal the characters of the story. The personas of Mr. Darcy, Mr. Collins, Jane, Lydia, and Mr. Bennet are greatly embellished by the existence of the letters.

Mr. Darcy's character is embellished and revealed using the epistolary technique. His entire image during the first half of the book is of a pompous and arrogant nature, but this is entirely altered when he writes his letter to Elizabeth after his proposal. Before the letter, Elizabeth has a firm dislike for Darcy. She blames him for keeping her sister Jane away from Bingley, and for cheating Mr. Wickham out of his rightful money. But Darcy's letter reveals to her the true reasons for his actions. He separated Jane and Bingley because he was looking out for his friend....

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