Jane Austen is the fiemeld writer of the romantic period, but she is quite different from the romantic poets and from ghotic and historical writers. In her novels we cannot find evidence of the historical and social events of her time, in fact her works are detached from the influence of French and American revolutions, of napoleonic wars and of English urbanization and industrialization. So there isn't an historical point of view. In her works she is very interested in pshicological analysis of her c 232c25c haracters, and they reflect in some way her personal experiences, but she doesn't talk about herself. Some critics defined her works the novels of manners, in fact the very important elements in this novels was morality, good manners, decorum, decency, sense of duty, tenderness, generosity of heart, understandig, a good art and a deep tolerance.
The world of her novel is restricted to provincial England and to a limitaded social class, the provincial gentry; so she can concentrate on details making a deeper analysis of characters and situations.
In all her work there are some ricurrent elements:
- the description of everyday life (made up of dinners, excursions and dances); she is very able to describe the kind of people she know: the landed gentry, the country gentry and the middle classes.
- all her characters are reasonable persons and they are always dominated by an extraordinary equilibrium; in fact we can notice that all the different characters are not subject to estreme passion.
- she decribed her characters with a scientific eye, without idealizing them.
- she never gives personal judgements in her novels, and when she does so, she does in impersonal way.
- her main subjects are courthship and marriage.
- in her novel lack sentimentality, the feelings seem to be absent, or concealed under everyday rituals.
- at the heart of everything there is marriage: but she didn't like marriages based on violent passion or on interest, because a good marriage is based on calm judgement, understanding and a real affinity.
- in her novels are absent heroes and adventurs, because she is interested to talk realistic events.
- the necessity of moral rules is always present; good manners are important in this small universe of classes and hierarchies.
- another particularity is the description of the women's situation in this period; women's role in society was defined by their husbands or their fathers. She is critical from this point of view and she show the restriction of women, that if was unmarried, were forced to look after children and old people of their family.
The style of her novels is very precise and she use carefully the words. The dialogues are very polite.
PRIDE AND PREJUDICE
This is her most important novel. It talks about the life of Bennet family; Mr and Mrs Bennet have five daughter, and their most important preoccupation is to find an husband for their daughters.
The title of this novel is very important because the two protagonists, Elizabeth (one of Bennet's daughters) and Mr Darcy (a very rich gentleman) represent the pride (Mr Darcy) and the prejudice (Elizabeht).
At the beginning of the story the pride of Mr Darcy is that he doesn't accept of loving Elizabeth, a girl of a lawer social class; but at the end he realizes that in reality the social class is not an important element in the marriage but it is important to share feelings, ideas and emotions.
Elizabeth represents prejudice because at the beginning she judges people from external point of view; so he doesn't accept Mr Darcy because she doesn't realize that he is dominated by the social rules of his time and of his social class; at the end of the story there is an evolution of Elizabeth and she relizes that people cannot be judged by the appearence, so she marries Mr Darcy. Another important aspect of Elizabeth is that she is a woman that believes in the love, so she doesn't accept the Mr Collins's proposal of marriage, because in it there is the total absence of love.
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