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Jane Austen As A Novelist

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Abstract

The present paper try to focus on the major contributions of Jane Austen during the Romantic Age. This period was a revolutionary period in literature and rebellion against the old standards of Classicism. The writers of this period tried to establish individual freedom in the world of imagination. In the present paper the focus is on the discussion of the features of Jane Austen’s novels. As a novelist of Romantic Age, she wrote her novels to please herself. The novel was a popular form of literature during this period. She wrote domestic and realistic novels like – Pride and Prejudice, Sense and Sensibility, Emma, Mansfield Park, Northanger Abbey and Persuasion. There was a growing demand for sentimentality and realistic literature. There was increase in the number of women readers. After the death of Jane Austen, the demand of sentimental novel was increased. She wrote several novels before she was twenty five but no any novel was published before her death. She was not influenced by the current fashion in fiction or by the revolutionary ideas. The present paper focuses on the most important features of her novels and also discusses her major contributions.

Introduction

Jane Austen had written several of her novels before she was twenty five she began to write earlier but unfortunately not a single novel was published before her death. She wrote only novels, but these novels are highest in quality. She had the qualities of purity, simplicity and sensitivity which made her popular. She wrote domestic and realistic novels which focused the real characters of life. She discussed the domestic problems though womanist view, so there was a large increase in the number of women readers during the Romantic Age. She discussed the problems of woman in her novels through the point of view of woman she was not attracted by revolutionary ideas. Though her novels became popular. Her well known works were pride of prejudice ‘sense and sensibility’ and ‘Emma’. The present paper will discuss some of the feature of her novels, like ‘pride and prejudice’ and sense and ‘sensibility’.

Silent Features of her Novel: during the romantic Age, the writers were influenced by revolutionary ideas and they wrote for pleasing themselves. But unlike all those writers of Romantic Age, Jane Austen was not influenced by these ideas. She wrote her novels with realistic approach. Some of the main features of her novels are as follows:

Limited Range of her Novels

Jane Austen wrote very limited number of novels. She obeyed the first rule of imaginative composition. She stayed within the range of her imaginative inspiration, it was very limited one. It was confined to human beings in their personal relations. Man in relation to God, to politics to abstract ideas, passed her by. It was only when she saw him his family and his neighbors that her creative impulse began to stir activity. She described Mrs. Brown not as a soul or as a citizen but only as the wife of Mr. Brown. Her view was towards Mrs. Brawn was limited by the fact that in general she describes Mrs. Brown in only one perspective i.e. of satiric. Her first literary impulse was humorous. It was her integral part to end of her life of her creative process. The smile was one of the feature which began to spread across her features of imagination. So smile was the signature on her finished work. Due to her angle of satiric vision, she could create the light of wit to the works of literature in the world. Her characters were live character. They belonged to middle class society. They were not described as very adventurous. There was presence of very limited range of events in the life of characters. All male characters were shown with female characters. No men were left alone in her novels. All the stories were told from the point of view of a woman. All the stories dealt with such person and events which could naturally came under the observation.

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Realistic Approach

As there was a limited range, in all aspects, there was reference of convincing delineation of characters. Her humoristic approach, ordinary experience, fine discrimination of human personalities and the development of personality under stress made her novels more readable with joy and countless number of readers. We did not find too much sentimentality in the novels of Jane Austen. It is the range of everyday experience, with which everyone is familiar, and her interpretation of individual personalities and happiness is as fresh today as ever. In her novel, ‘Pride and Prejudice’, there are two sins as conspicuous in everyday affairs as when she delineated their effect so humorously that bears their names. In the novel, ‘Emma’, the character tells of a delightful girl who is as essentially true to life today as she was in the years when Napoleon was emperor. She is not like other women novelists. She is a new woman, a competent, self-reliant, likes to manage other people’s affairs and able to learn from experience. In all her novels, we find the examples of fine individual personalities with the brush of master artist. They are described realistically. All these characters are wonderful. She had a gifted mastery of simplicity, purity and the craftsmanship. She had the art of creating more interesting characters with live experiences.

Her Plots

In all her novels the plots are skillfully constructed. In the novel, ‘Pride and Prejudice’, the plot is very unromantic though it is an excellent example of an ideal novel. The elopement scene appears very unromantic in the novel. But in her later novel, ‘Emma’, we have fine examples of everyday existence. Her characters are described with easy decorum, very little description of emotion or passion. She had the highest quality of arts that makes her plots so attractive and very interesting. She was the master in structuring the plots. She had the humor and technique like Shakespeare. In the novel, ‘Pride and Prejudice’, Elizabeth first meets Darcy at a village ball. She at once becomes prejudiced against him on account of his behavior with Bingley. Elizabeth is though tolerable, she is not handsome enough to tempt him to dance with her. Jane Austen displays a very great skill in handling events to the deepening of Elizabeth’s prejudice and to the awakening of Darcy’s love, in spite of his pride. When prejudice and proud love reached the proper degree of intensity, Jane Austen brings Elizabeth and Darcy to gather with an arrogant and insulting proposal of marriage and an indignant refusal. By marriage of Elizabeth and Darcy, the problem is not completely solved. It is inevitable conclusion of the properly constructed plot of the novels.

Her Characters

All characters of her novels are developed with minuteness and accuracy. They are common people and alive. She introduced cletgymen as teal clergymen. All her characters are first class like the servile, Mr. Collins in ‘Pride and Prejudice’, the garrulous, Miss Bates in ‘Emma’ and the selfish and vulgar, John Thrope in ‘Northanger Abbey’. Her characters are individual personalities. She described the characters through her minute observations and quiet but incisive irony. Her male characters have a certain softness of thaw and temper but her female characters are almost unexceptional in perfection of finish. She represented man’s reaction to his wife as his relation to his beliefs and career and reveals him fundamentally.

Place in the History of Fiction

She had the qualities of dramatist like Shakespeare. She is the greatest women novelist of the Romantic Age. All her novels are sensational, but there are no more flawless works of art in English. She represents the enduring quality of English society, with the thread of clergymen and social groups. She represents the remarkable psychological studies of men and women, avoiding passion and prejudice. She gives her experience of life with delicacy of touch and sweet reasonableness. The moral purpose is a product of her inherent wisdom.

Conclusion

From the above discussion, we can conclude that Jane Austen is a great women novelist in English literature. She contributed the major novels which represents the real individuals of middle class society of England. Her major works ‘Pride and Prejudice’, ‘Sense and Sensibility’, ‘Emma’ and other novels made her a greatest novelist of English literature in the Romantic Age. All her qualities represents the qualities of great dramatist like Shakespeare. She is the most remarkable writer of Romantic Age and memorable as a great novelist.

References

  1. Austen, J. 1813. Pride and Prejudice. UK: Pearson Longman.
  2. Austen, J. 1811. Sense and Sensibility. London: Thomas Egerton.
  3. Austen, J. 1815. Emma. UK: Longman.
  4. Austen, J. 1814. Mansfield Park. UK: Thomas Egerton.
  5. Goodman, W. 1688. A History of English Literature. Delhi: Doaba House.

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Jane Austen As A Novelist. (2022, Jun 29). Edubirdie. Retrieved December 2, 2022, from https://edubirdie.com/examples/jane-austen-as-a-novelist/
“Jane Austen As A Novelist.” Edubirdie, 29 Jun. 2022, edubirdie.com/examples/jane-austen-as-a-novelist/
Jane Austen As A Novelist. [online]. Available at: <https://edubirdie.com/examples/jane-austen-as-a-novelist/> [Accessed 2 Dec. 2022].
Jane Austen As A Novelist [Internet]. Edubirdie. 2022 Jun 29 [cited 2022 Dec 2]. Available from: https://edubirdie.com/examples/jane-austen-as-a-novelist/
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