posted by Henry2 on .
I find it difficult to understand sentence 2. Can you help me simplify it?
It refers to the first Chapter of Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice.
1) Chapter one opens with what seems to be an aphorism: it is a universal truth that “a single man in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a wife.”
2) This opening offers an ironic statement about the themes of the novel. The topic of money and marriage are introduced in relation to truth.
3)The author means that everybody agrees on the fact that a rich man must be in need of a wife, and goes on to create a world in which the opposite is shown to be the case, as the mothers of the area prepare to unleash their daughters in pursuit of the two eligible visitors to the neighbourhood.
4) Mrs. Bennet would like her husband to make the acquaintance of Mr. Bingley so as to introduce their daughters to him.
5) Her real worry is to marry off her five daughters. Mr. Bennet, however, does not seem interested and makes ironical remarks. Mr. Bennet’s favourite is Lizzy (line 52) because he thinks she is lively and clever (lines 57-8).
Make sure you use "ironic" not "ironical."
#3 explains the irony -- the assumption about a rich man's needing a wife seems to be questioned.
Read the very first paragraph here.