Irony is the soul of Jane Austen’s novel because the comic aspects of life she presents in her novel are but the ironic aspects visible to good sense in its contemplation of erroneous judgments. In this context Bhattacharyya noted that irony is the hall mark of her style because this irony is not merely a particular way of saying or creating things (80). Irony in this tale is rather the expression of the infinite within a man who has at once a delicate, sensitive, and subtle perception of the contrasts and contradictions with which human life is filled.Â Â
The tale is in many occasions irony is a contrast between reality and illusion. For example Bhattacharyya says that the first sentence of the novel is tinged with irony as the sentence runs â€œit is a truth universally acknowledged that a single man in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a wifeâ€ (81). This is not a truth that is universal to every man because the contrast appears to be true in most cases.
In the story pride and prejudice, irony is a mode of speech in which the implied attitudes or evaluations are opposed to those literally expressed. For example irony is depicted when Mrs. Bennet she says â€œMy dear you flatter me. I certainly have had my share of beauty, but do not pretend to be anything extraordinary now, when a woman has five grown up daughters, she ought to give over thinking of her own beautyâ€ (Austen 32).Â Â Â Â Â
In these two stories irony is being used as an instrument of revealing the difference between appearance and reality is always a source of inspiration and amusementâ€ (Bhattacharyya 81). This is depicted when Darcy remarks about Elizabeth that â€œshe is not handsome enough to tempt meâ€ and soon after gets captivated by a â€œpair of fine eyesâ€ of Elizabethâ€ (Bhattacharyya 81). In addition irony of character is even more prominent in the novel than irony of situation. For example â€œElizabeth prides herself on her perception and disdains Jane’s blindness to the realities is herself quite blinded by her own prejudicesâ€ (Bhattacharyya 82)
It appears as a surprise to Elizabeth that Darcy finds himself in love with her while the author Austen makes it clear how wonderful it is that such a man should fall in love at all (Polhemus 29). Irony is also depicted when Mrs. Bennet says â€œYou are over scrupulous, surely and she continues to say Mr. Bingley will be very glad to see youâ€ (Austen 33) In the beginning of the story there is more irony because the match was not very compelling because the reason why he fell in love with Elizabeth and marry her but at the end the match between the two looks perfectly reasonable.
Pride and prejudice shows how from historical perspective the association between the sexes where men could seem princes and women scullery maids. The ironic part of the story is depicted on the basis that though Elizabeth comes to love him by the end it is not at all clear thatÂ she ever falls in love with him because in their romance man falls in love with woman and that fall into love is the fortunate fall of Austen’s erotic faith (Polhemus 29).
The story further shows the readers that the world is often a sordid, dull, menacing, and disappointing place without love. In this context Austen says that â€œMr. Bennet was so odd a mixture of quick parts, sarcastic humor, reserve and caprice that the experience of three and twenty years had been insufficient to make his wife understand his characterâ€ (33). The irony is that the power of love in pride and prejudice works to generate faith, hope, and charity.