Jane Austen's Views on Love, Courtship, and Marriage as Expressed in Her Novels


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Jane Austen's Views on Love, Courtship, and Marriage as Expressed in Her Novels

  1. 1. Jane Austen’s Views on Love, Courtship, and Marriage as Expressed in Her Novels<br />Amy Hooper<br />Professor Owens<br />ENG-1102<br />3 December 2010<br />
  2. 2. Who was Jane Austen?<br />Early 19th century English novelist<br />Very well-known and loved during her time, and still very popular today<br />Wrote romance novels<br />
  3. 3. Jane Austen Compared to Other Romance Novelists of Her Time<br />Other Romance Novelists<br />Jane Austen<br />Wrote “tales of wild adventure in love and chivalry… where marvelous and exciting events occurred in remote exotic settings” (Ruhemann 1)<br />Critics said that “the romances allowed their readers – who were mainly women – to immerse themselves without responsibility in a hectic world which made real life pale by comparison” (Ruhemann 1)<br />Wrote about love realistically<br />Showed readers many different perspectives (multi-perspectival)<br />Her writing offers readers a “play of perspective on events” and invites them to “see things from other angles” and catch themselves up before getting too carried away (Ruhemann 3)<br />She “includes elements in her story that deal with the question of what life is like for people who don’t have the advantages of the romantic heroine” (Ruhemann 3)<br />An example of this is Charlotte Lucas in Pride and Prejudice<br />
  4. 4. Symbols Used as Metaphors for Courtship in Austen’s Novels<br />Dancing used as a metaphor for courtship<br />Austen’s brother stated in Pride and Prejudice that his sister “was fond of dancing, and excelled in it” (qtd. in Schneider 1)<br />“Langdon Elsbree observes that dancing provides a primary source for ‘action and speech in Jane Austen’s fictional world and dramatize[s] the theme of courtship and marriage’” (qtd. in Schneider 1).<br />“Dancing embodies the tension between the struggle for individuality and polite society’s prescribed gender identities and roles” (Schneider 1) <br />Card-playing used as a metaphor for courtship in Pride and Prejudice<br />Matthew Schneider states that Austen was very fond of card playing (1)<br />It is the perfect metaphor for the courting process in this novel because it “incorporates two important elements of the Austenian portrayal of courtship… money and luck” (Schneider 1)<br />
  5. 5. The Theme of Love in Austen’s Novels Possibly Shaped Around Events in Her Own Life<br />Some critics believe that the love stories in Jane Austen’s novels came from events that occurred in Austen’s own life.<br />According to Lori Smith, the love stories in Jane Austen’s own life echo the themes of her novels, “but without the ‘happily ever after’ ending” (45)<br />Jane Austen’s relationships with men always ended, which made her stories more realistic because they were inspired by her love life.<br />
  6. 6. Marriage in Jane Austen’s Novels<br />The theme of marriage in Austen’s novels could not have been based off of her own life, because she never married.<br />However, according to Audrey Hawkridge, “For a woman who never married, Jane’s mind dealt frequently on the subject of wedlock” (181)<br />The women in Austen’s novels saw marriage differently than today’s society sees it<br />“Today the idea of marriage is a loaded one; at best it’s a closing down of options… For them life opened up at the point of marriage” (Clarke 3)<br />Austen wrote optimistically about marriage rather than putting it down<br />
  7. 7. Conclusion<br />Jane Austen is one of the most famous authors in history<br />She was a very influential author<br />Some even say that she created the idea of the modern romance novel<br />Her novels were, and continue to be, very popular<br />Her six novels that were published have become some of the most famous romance novels of all time<br />The main themes in her novels and the way that she expresses them in her writing brings new hope to readers and makes her a very popular author<br />She portrays love, courtship, and marriage realistically in her novels, while still keeping an enjoyable plot and storyline<br />All of these things are what make and what will continue to make Austen famous for a very long time.<br />
  8. 8. Works Cited<br />Clarke, Susanna. “Why We Read Jane Austen: Young Persons in<br /> Interesting Situations.” A Truth Universally Acknowledged. Ed.<br /> Susannah Carson. New York: Random House, 2009. 3-8.<br /> Print.<br />Hawkridge, Audrey. Jane and her Gentlemen: Jane Austen and the<br /> Men in her Life and Novels. London: Peter Owen Publishers,<br /> 2000. Print.<br />Ruhemann, Linda. “True Romance? Linda Ruhemann asks what it is<br /> that readers – perhaps particularly young women – enjoy so <br /> much about Pride and Prejudice.” The English Review 13.1 <br /> (n.d.): 22. Gale: Literature Resource Center. EBSCO. Web. 4 <br /> Nov. 2010.<br />Schneider, Matthew. “Card-playing and the Marriage Gamble in Pride<br /> and Prejudice.” Dalhousie Review 73.1 (n.d.): 5-17. Gale:<br /> Literature Resource Center. EBSCO. Web. 4 Nov. 2010.<br />Smith, Lori. A Walk with Jane Austen. Colorado: Waterbook Press,<br /> 2007. Print.<br />