The tone of many novels is set within the first few lines or pages; the reader can also tell the author’s style through diction detail, and syntax. Jane Austin’s Pride and Prejudice is a novel such as this- Austin’s opening sentence sets the tome for the rest of the book preparing the reader for her satirical treatment of regency manners and morals, the novel will become, learns her style of the novel, and it also sets up foreshadowing for the novel.
“It is true universally acknowledge, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife,” is the first sentence of the novel, it sets the tone and explains to the reader the plot of the story. She tells how she wants her daughters married-no matter the circumstances. The sentence tells about the social standings, to marry a man with high social status when the women are lower/middle class, the girl’s beauty must be amazing and visa versa -the lower class of the gentleman the less beauty counts for the female if they are high class. Her tone is disparity, impatient, yet sophisticated. The mother is desperate trying to get her daughters married- she will do anything “the business of her life was to get her daughters married” of them. She does not care to whom just as long as she he has money. Impatient, she is so mind set on having her daughters married she forgets how important it is to let it happen rather than forcing it so harshly. Lastly while all of this is going through her mind she is still on the outside presenting herself in such a disposition that her manners and movements are well respected. These three things set the tone for this whole novel and are found right in the first sentence if one looks closely.
Jane Austin is ironic in the beginning sentence, yet it is barely noticeable. She gives facts, truths, and even philosophy making the reader think this is what the novel is to be about- then proceeds to tell the reader how the only truths one will find is in society and their standings. She brings up that, “he has servants?he was lively and unreserved,” and how socially that’s a must when really it is only a plus. Austin does a very good job of placing us in the time period; the truths and socialistic truths although contradicts each other; it is what was actually true for the tome and she sets us there very well. “____,” tells the reader about a normal way to act then.
Jane Austin has a style like non-other, “___________,” she expresses her felling in a way like nobody else. In her opening sentence one can just see she gets the point across yet it is in a way that makes the reader think.
These three things are what make up Pride and Prejudice-ironically enough the first sentence reveals them all.