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Humor Essay

  • Submitted by: davidkhawlhring
  • on February 26, 2011
  • Category: English
  • Length: 2,736 words

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Below is an essay on "Humor" from Anti Essays, your source for research papers, essays, and term paper examples.

The major theme in Pride and Prejudice is quite obvious, and is given to us in the very first lines, "It is a truth universally acknowledged that a single man in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a wife." Austen focuses her novel about the Bennet family, and their challenge of marrying their 5 daughters. Mrs. Bennet is particularly concerned with these marriages, and in her efforts to ensure their marriages as quickly and advantageously as possible, creates a hilarious drama about family, society, and marriage. It is the latter specifically, though, that Austen is most thorough in presenting to us. Her novel is about the different types of relationships that people end up in and how they handle them. We encounter several proposals and marriages throughout the novel, each characterized by the persons involved, their statuses, and their families, among other things. What is most telling, though, is Austen's use of humor in describing and exploring these different relationships.

There are two main types of humor used in Pride and Prejudice. The first is the very subtle, particular humor which usually comes out in the dialogue of the novel, especially from Mr. Bennet, Elizabeth, and Darcy. The second is a more obvious kind of awkward, 'slapstick' comedy as seen in Mrs. Bennet jumping between nervous breakdowns and excitement over a new rich man in town, or Mr. Collins' incessant bowing. The former type of humor is mostly found between people in a relationship, and is used to show the level of familiarity and comfort that exists in relationships, such as that between Elizabeth and Darcy and between the Gardiners. The latter humor is used by Austen to mock and ridicule certain people and situations that she disapproves of, such as people who base their lives and relationships on flattery, or people who are too full of themselves. Here it would be most helpful to examine some of the main relationships that Austen presents to us and her use of comedy in...

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