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Pride and Prejudice | Evidence Analysis and Sample Paragraph

Set in rural England in the 19th century, Pride and Prejudice explores the relevant ideas of class, love and feminism. Written by Jane Austen, the novel is famous for its strong female characters and innovative love story that has withstood time. This blog post will provide a structure to help you analyse and present evidence to benefit your essay when writing about the novel.

You would have seen this three-fold formula all over this blog by now. But, if you haven’t, here is a quick summary!

Step 1: Evidence – outline your evidence/literary devices/quotes

  • Elizabeth expresses her detachment from tradition through…
  • Mr. Darcy exemplifies this theme/concept when he claims…
  • The metaphor portrays…
  • The simile…counteracts the meaning of…
  • The mannerisms of Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth are contrasted to that of Mr. Bingley and Jane through the agency of tone/visual language etc.

Step 2: Analysis – what is the significance of this evidence/literary devices/quotes

  • This quote reveals …
  • The passage signifies that…
  • A is characterised as … by use of…
  • In comparison to A, B is portrayed as…

Step 3: Effect – what does this mean for the reader/character/author?

  • The notion of … employs the idea of …
  • This conveys the message that…
  • Enhancing the meaning of …
  • This allows the reader too…
  • This asks the reader to feel …
EvidenceAnalysisEffect
“Its banks were neither formal, nor falsely adorned”The banks had not been altered to change appearance and were naturally adequate

Linking the rawness of the banks to that of Darcy’s character
“large, handsome, stone building”Darcy’s estate is personified
The personification of Darcy’s estate reflects his character. He is seen as exteriorly handsome, but the foundation of his character is cold and hard, likening him to stone.
“stream of some natural importance was swelled into greater

Darcy’s character as a whole cannot be understood by others until all aspects of him are fully acknowledged

Other characters make assumptions about Darcy through small interactions, which is represented here as a stream. However, as Elizabeth learns more about him, she finds that his prior negative traits are justified and have an underlining positivity which once understood as a whole can be seen as great qualities.
“the fullest belief of [his] arrogance, [his] conceit, and [his] selfish disdain of the feelings of othersElizabeth’s opinion of Darcy struggles to grow in the beginning as his negative qualities override all possible chances of renewal
Darcy’s confidence impresses Elizabeth but with a negative connotation. She is attracted to his ability to be so confident, but his put off but his dedication to negative traits.

Example paragraph:

The dynamic character of Mr. Darcy is renewed through Austen’s depiction of Darcy’s estate, inviting Elizabeth’s revision of his personal behaviour. Darcy’s estate personifies his qualities and expounds on those which have not yet been conveyed to Elizabeth. Her initial opinion of him divulges her infatuation with “the fullest belief of [his] arrogance, [his] conceit, and [his] selfish disdain of the feelings of others.” Upon arriving at his estate Elizabeth notes that “Its banks were neither formal, nor falsely adorned.” This depiction of Darcy’s estate contradicts Elizabeth’s original thoughts of his character, as her viewing of the land allows for the rawness of Darcy’s character to pervade her assumptions. Darcy’s house is the purest reflection of his personality; a “large, handsome, stone building.” Through this attribution of human qualities, Austen reiterates the communal notion that Darcy’s exterior is deceiving, and his inner qualities are likened to stone. His interactions with other characters are viewed as “stream[s] of some natural importance”, influencing their collective dislike of him. Elizabeth later learns however, that these smaller interactions are misunderstood without context and are seen to be “swelled into greater” when his mannerisms are comprehended as whole. Darcy’s estate galvanises Elizabeth’s romantic feelings for him and insight of this continues to explore their relationship.

Tip: A good way to deepen your analysis is to also discuss the use of literary techniques. If you are interested in learning more about them, click here!

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