She writes, "IT is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife" (Pride and Prejudice, Penguin, pg 5). Middle Jane Austen is ridiculing the false values held by many people of her day, and pointing out that people should be valued for their true worth and not for any other reason. Collins's views are merely the most extreme and obvious.
The satire directed at him is also more subtly directed at the entire social hierarchy.
Try it risk-free As humans, we are often absurd beings, whether because of our personality quirks or our efforts to fit into a particular group.
Jane Austen recognized this about humanity, so she tried to show how some of this human foolishness was often harmful to society and even just laughable.
One major theme in the book that requires Austen's use of satire is the focus on the silliness of the expectation of women and marriage in the late 18th and early 19th centuries.
Women were expected by society to want to find a wealthy and powerful man to marry, and to give birth to and raise children (whom they hoped would be boys).This gentle irony creates humour and explains the satire to show how ridiculous this conventional Victorian country life was and, as she to was part of this society, Jane had first hand experience of the types of people she wrote about.In her humorous treatment of a serious subject, Austen opens the novel with what appears to be a sarcastic sentence, which acts as a springboard for the action and motivation of the story.While her writing conveys none of the lyricism of the Romantics who would succeed her, it is full of intelligence and precisely crafted to convey its often-subtle meaning.Jane Austen wrote tales of small town uneventfulness, tending to explore character rather than event.As a member, you'll also get unlimited access to over 79,000 lessons in math, English, science, history, and more.Plus, get practice tests, quizzes, and personalized coaching to help you succeed.Women often did not expect much of themselves except to find this 'perfect' man to marry (who could possibly be tolerable to live with and handsome, if they were lucky) and give birth to male children.This was seen as the appropriate duty of a woman at the time. William Collins, is one of Austen's satirical characters in the novel.Jane Austen powers of subtle discrimination and shrewd perceptiveness are revealed in Pride and Prejudice; she is able to convey a complex message using a simple, yet witty, style.Austen had an overabundance of social commentary to make, and although women in her time period were not generally outspoken, she used her novels as a means to show that women could be intelligent, humorous, and strong.