How narrative voice and dialogue are used in Pride & Prejudice

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In this passage Jane Austen uses different narrative techniques to help the reader get a better understanding of the plot and the characters involved within it. These techniques include ‘showing’, when direct speech is used to show the characters speaking directly to each other and ‘telling’, in the form of focalization and free indirect speech which gives the reader access to the thoughts and emotions of the characters. We see how Austen uses the narrative voice to draw in the reader and capture their attention. The first paragraph in this passage is written by an omniscient narrator, which enables Austen to relate details to the reader in a neutral tone without having to show the full dialogue or thinking of the characters involved. The narrator is able to convey directly how the character is feeling and what has happened. The paragraph is written in the third person and the fact that all the reader knows is that ‘Elizabeth related to Jane next day, what had passed between Mr. Wickham and herself’ means that the reader is forced to place an element of trust in the narrator – although we don’t know exactly what Elizabeth said and how she said it, we trust that the narrator is presenting an accurate and unbiased view. The fact that the narrator is telling rather than showing is less dramatic, but gives us an insight into the characters themselves without having to read pages of dialogue. With the exception of the first line the narrator focalizes through Jane, which is unusual as most of the narration in the book is written from Elizabeth’s point of view. By using Jane as the focalizer the narrator changes the style of writing to best reflect the tone and phrases Jane would use, phrases such as ‘amiable appearance’ and ‘tender feelings’. This helps the reader feel as though they are getting an insight into Jane’s character, as it is consistent with the

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