Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice
How does Jane Austen use dialogue to develop characterization of one character in her story Pride and Prejudice?
How Jane Austen Uses Dialogue to Develop Characterization of in Her Story Pride and Prejudice
Dialogues serve as useful tools in a story as they grant voice to characters and enable readers to comprehend the personality or nature of characters. In Pride and Prejudice, Jane Austen demonstrates an effective use of dialogue to establish Characterization of Ldyia, who happens to be the wildest and youngest Bennet daughter. Austen’s use of dialogue in developing the character of Lydia is evident in the scene where Mr. Bennet talks about how his property and land must be owned by a male heir. In this scene, Austen perfectly employs dialogue in depicting Lydia as determined and resolute person and a gossiper, as well as her supportive and caring nature.
Austen demonstrates a perfect employment of the concept of dialogue in developing Lydia’s character as a determined person. Lydia and her sister frequent Mr. Philips and this has made her aware of the officers and certain personal issues about them (20). This trend enables her to acquire adequate information about Mr. Bringley, who happens to be one of the officers. Nonetheless, Mr. Bringley’s enormous fortune does not attract Lydia’s attention (20). She is determined to win the love of Captain Carter. Even though their father expresses his disappointment with their reasoning and even proceeds to consider them the country’s silliest girls, Lydia is still resolute and with perfect indifference continues to express how she is awed with Captain Carter, and even reveals her hope of meeting him during the day, as he is to go to London the next morning (25). This scenario plays a significant role in revealing Lydia’s character as a determined person, who will stop at nothing to get what she wants. Contrary to her sister, Catherine, who yields to her father’s remarks and remains silent, Lydia verbally opposes her father. Eventually, her mother, Mrs. Bennet, comes to their rescue by questioning their father for calling them silly. She even proceeds to cancel her husband’s remarks by emphasizing that her daughters are clever.
Apart from using dialogue to develop Lydia’s character as a determined woman, Austen also employs dialogue in portraying Lydia as a gossiper. Austen successful uses dialogue to depict Lydia as an individual who likes talking casually and eagerly about other people. Lydia enjoys spreading rumors and hearing latest news concerning other people. This nature is exemplified when she interjects her mother, as she talks about Colonel Forster. Lydia interrupts her mother by stating that she heard from her aunt that Captain Carter and Colonel Forster do not always visit Miss Watson’s, as they often did when they initially came. She proceeds to state that she heard from her aunt that they now regularly stand in Clarke’s library (45). Unlike her mother who is not acquainted with latest information about these two gentlemen, Lydia is well-versed with their current affairs and enthusiastically reports that to her family. Lydia’s nature as a gossiper is further revealed by the fact that she and her sister, Catherine, always visited Meryton three to four times every week to furnish discussions for the evening, and they often contrive to get news from their aunt despite the country being bare of news (10). Furthermore, the recent arrival of a regiment of militia within the neighbourhood supplied them with happiness and news (15). Lydia is even disappointed at her aunt’s failure to tell them about the dining of Caroline Bingley’s brother with the officers (55). As such, Austen excels in using dialogue to depict Lydia as a character, who delights in hearing and gossiping about other people’s affairs.
Austen also employs dialogue in developing Lydia’s character as a supportive and caring person. Lydia demonstrates her commitment to assist Elizabeth to fulfill her mother’s wish, which is to convince Mrs. Bennet to visit Elizabeth’s mother at Meryton so that they can have a tete-a-tete, as Mr. Bengley dines with other officers (55). Even though the rain is approaching and there are is neither a horse nor a carriage to take them to Meryton, Lydia promises to walk with Elizabeth all the way to Meryton. This devotion is evident in the statement “We will go as far as Meryton with you” (55). Lydia and her sister, Jane, then proceed to accompany Elizabeth to Meryton (105). Lydia’s decision to walk with Elizabeth to Meryton in the absence of a horse or a carriage reveals her caring and supporting nature. She cares about Elizabeth and supports her in fulfilling her mission. Lydia is willing to abandon the comfort of her home to ensure that Elizabeth accomplishes her mission. She is neither bothered by being rained on nor being tired from the long journey to Meryton.
In conclusion, in Pride and Prejudice, Austen effectively uses dialogue to depict Lydia as supportive and caring, and a determined and resolute, as well as a gossiper. Austen’s prowess in the employment of dialogue to establish characterization is evident in the scene where Mr. Bennet holds a discussion about the inheritance of his land and property by a male heir.
Jane, Austen. Pride and Prejudice. Ripol Classic, 2017.