Date of Award
The importance of didacticism in Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice may sometimes be overlooked in an effort to be entertained by the fairy-tale essence of her work. This is unfortunate since Pride and Prejudice offers a rich critique of eighteenth-century English society, as well as heralds the beginning of a new form of novel writing. This new form of novel writing includes a vision of an autonomous heroine who exercises freedom from patriarchal society and the “marriage market.” Austen’s ironic didacticism in Pride and Prejudice highlights hypocrisy and contradiction, and in so doing, mock social expectations. It is through her ironic didacticism, play on universal belief systems, and contrasting characters that readers are provoked to inquiry about the effectiveness of rigidly held belief systems. With inquiry comes dialogue which increases knowledge and with knowledge come opportunities for learning. This is Austen’s highly didactic method.
Morales, Lisa, "Join in the Dance: Didacticism in Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice" (1998). LSU Historical Dissertations and Theses. 8279.