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The Journal of English Language and Literature , Vol.63, No.2, 263 ~ 280, 2017
Pride and Pastiche: Humor and Intertextual Parody in Bridget Jones`s Diary
Kenneth Eckert
Criticism of Helen Fielding`s Bridget Jones`s Diary (1996) has generally been limited to interrogating its literary value as `Chick Lit,` feminist analysis, and noting its complex intertextual mesh of allusions to Austen`s Pride and Prejudice and movie/TV versions of both novels. Less attention has been paid to why or how P&P functions as a parodic text informing BJD. This paper argues through a close reading that Fielding uses the language registers, behavioral codes, and wider romance tropes and canonical scenes of P&P to serve as a humorous contrast against Bridget. Bridget is funny because she aspires to this fantasy romantic ideal of poise, control, and prestige which is comically denied to her or deflated. Fielding`s parodic technique is neither critical to P&P nor to Bridget but is rather sympathetically playful, so that Bridget earns the reader`s sympathy and identification.
Key Words
Bridget Jones`s Diary, Pride and Prejudice, parody, post-modern British fiction, Chick Lit
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