Wordplay, Candor, and Malice
DOI link for Wordplay, Candor, and Malice
Wordplay, Candor, and Malice book
Jane Austen loved wordplay and wit and even bad puns, and from her girlhood gave every sign of knowing how to use words with devastating satiric intent and consequence. Her pleasure in wordplay is partly evidenced by the three charades she wrote, kept in a family volume of charades and riddles. Austen's love of wordplay emerges often in the proper names in her novels. Jane Austen had trouble with candor; she was not candid enough, at least in her juvenilia, in many of her letters, and in her novels. The moral cost of such candor is that one may sometimes be blindsided by the immoral actions of others, as Jane is by Wickham. The narrator's own moral authority is also at issue in the novels, particularly at those moments when the satiric exposure of faults seems to merge with the pleasures of malice.