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|JA's marvelous language in P&P
Written by Mary-L
(1/17/2004 11:47 p.m.)
In Ch 1, as Mrs Bennet is bending Mr B's ear about Netherfield being let at last, he eventually says, "You want to tell me and I have no objection to hearing it." JA then tells us, "This was invitation enough." In those four simple words, we can just imagine Mrs B taking a deep breath and excitedly pouring out all the information she has gleaned from Mrs. Long. Those few words paint the complete scene for us.
Towards the end of Ch 2, after Mr B has craftily maneuvered the conversation in order to spill the news that he has called on Mr Bingley, he gets astonishment, joy, and a thrilled response from Mrs B. Then, "...as he spoke, he left the room, fatigued with the raptures of his wife." Another marvelous picture painted by JA in so few words, letting us hear Mrs B's effusions poured forth and giving the picture of his escape.
At the beginning of Ch 3, we hear how Mrs B and the five girls try to get more information from Mr B about Mr Bingley. "They attacked him in various ways-- with barefaced questions, ingenious suppositions, and distant surmises--" Those three paired adjectives and nouns are so marvelously orchestrated to illustrate all their attempts to squeeze information from him!
And in the same chapter, we have the sequence of gossipy information about the guests Bingley was bringing to the assembley: twelve ladies and seven gentlemen, then the ladies down a bit to five sisters and a cousin, and finally down to only five altogether: Mr Bingley, his two sisters, the husband of the eldest, and another young man. We can just hear the rounds of gossipy conversations that created this series!
At the beginning of Ch 5, we are introduced to Lady Lucas, a very good kind of woman, not too clever to be a valuable neighbor to Mrs. Bennet. We learn all we need to know about both ladies and their relationship in this sentence.
JA has given us so many marvelously informative and delightful phrases that paint such clear pictures! I would love to hear of any other gems that others treasure in this first section of P&P.
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