Gossip, Limited Omniscience and Ambiguity in Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

Topics: Gossip

In Pride and Prejudice, Jane Austen classically formulates a novel by presenting a variety of methods of knowledge, none of which leads to a specific conclusion. Through the use of gossip and Limited omniscience, Austen stimulates ambiguity as to the method by which the expected results of the story will occur

Gossip is one of the main forms of communication in the society of the novel.

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As such, it is also one of the main ways people know things—or, rather, think they know things.

The problem is that the knowledge that is gained from this gossip is often false, if not directly contradictory to another piece of gossip. For example, Darcy’s character is originally formulated to seem wholly insufferable and arrogant. However, throughout the novel, there is an increasing, amount of evidence that contradicts this. In this manner, Austen suppresses excess knowledge by disguising and replacing it with false knowledge. At first glance, there is no way the reader can accurately evaluate the integrity of a piece of gossip; they must compare it with other knowledge and place it in a broader context, Thus, until the picture is nearly all drawn, the reader cannot even begin to suppose exactly what the end product will be.

Most of the omniscience in the novel comes from the perspective of Elizabeth, and so it is somewhat United, especially about Darcy. The reader hardly ever knows Darcy’s thoughts, unless he reports them directly o Elizabeth, This makes supposition as to romance between the two hardly worthwhile, especially since Darcy barely ever directly addresses Elizabeth, However, the two will end up with each other nearly from the beginning of the novel. The worthlessness of supposition, then, comes from the inconclusiveness about the method by which the two will fall in love, By contrast, the ultimate marriage of Jane and Bingley, although far from traditional, is supplemented by the fact that they appear to like each other from the start. Thus, the marriage only has to occur; there is hardly any ultimate shift in the relationship between the (wo. Elizabeth and Darcy, however, hate each other at the start. Not knowing Darcy’s thoughts presents the reader with no opportunity to know when he changes his mind about Elizabeth and this makes his initial proposal nearly as surprising to the audience as it is to Elizabeth, Indeed, even Darcy seems to not fully comprehend when he changed his mind, as he admits to Elizabeth.

The inconclusiveness about the truth of a given piece of knowledge combined with the outright omission of knowledge helps to give the novel its relevance, The reader cannot help but be absorbed into the story in a way that forces them ta use their knowledge to supplement the missing.

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Gossip, Limited Omniscience and Ambiguity in Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen. (2022, Jun 12). Retrieved from https://paperap.com/gossip-limited-omniscience-and-ambiguity-in-pride-and-prejudice-by-jane-austen/

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