iro ny n. 1a: the humorous or sardonic use of words to express the opposite of what one really means 1b: an ironic expression or utterance 2a: inconsistency between an actual and an expected result 2b: a result marked by such inconsistency
Here is a word that English teachers like to use. I thought it might be fun to point out some examples of irony in Pride and Prejudice. So, readers, time to chime in. What are your favorite examples of irony so far?
I’ll start with one silly quote from Mrs. Bennet to Elizabeth:
…I have no pleasure in talking to undutiful children. Not that I have much pleasure indeed in talking to any body. People who suffer as I do from nervous complaints can have no great inclination for talking. Nobody can tell what I suffer! But it is always so. Those who do not complain are never pitied…
She states that she has “no great inclination for talking” and “gets no pleasure from talking to any body,” but if anyone was to list characteristics of Mrs. B, “talkative” would probably be the first on the list. Apparently she doesn’t see HERSELF this way. I’d call this unintentional irony.
Carry on, readers! Let’s sift out the irony.