Significance Of Jane Austen Essay

2176 words - 9 pages

Although Austen was an eighteenth century author, her literature is still celebrated in the modern world in countless ways. By many her books are classics, and even though they were written nearly two centuries ago, they still are a popular read. Austen uses techniques and variation of approach to grasp the attention of her readers. She also frequently writes about the expectations of women in 19th century women.

On December 16th 1775, English literature changed with the birth of Jane Austen. One of eight; her father encouraged her to grow and thrive at a young age. Jane and her only sister Cassandra were inseparable. “Cassandra (1773-1845), was Jane's closest friend throughout her life and was known in the family for her steady character and sound judgment.”(Kelly) The Austen children were educated mainly at home, primarily through Jane’s father who used resources at Oxford University. The learning style may have been different than traditional education, but all members of the Austen family were involved, primarily through reading aloud. “There was also a great deal of reading aloud in the Austen household. Many families at the time would have one of their members read to the others while they carried out small tasks. Reading aloud was considered a highly valuable professional and social skill.”(Kelly) Since Austen was encouraged to read, she began writing at an early age. “The juvenilia, written in her early and mid teens are already incisive and elegantly expressed; Love and Friendship was written when she was fourteen, “A History of England” at fifteen; at 16 a Collection of Letters; and sometime during these same years, Lesley Castle. (Oxford 51) Jane’s early start as an writer made her work later in her life distinctive and sophisticated. With help from her family and mostly from her father, Austen was able to develop her writing excellence early.

Jane Austens literary style uses an different approach different than that of the 19th century. “Far ahead of her time in the techniques of narration, especially in the control of point of view, Jane Austen, through her fidelity to life, her declination of character, and her ironic insight, produced sophisticated comedy, unsurpassed in the English novel.” (Magill) Advancement in her work allowed it to keep popularity, and still capture readers today. “We read Austen because she seems to know us better than we know ourselves, and she seems to know us so intimately for the simple reason that she helped determine who we are both as readers and as human beings.”(Bloom) Her ability to communicate with readers seems to be a compelling argument for her success, but her irony and humor have also served as a contribution. James Collins writes “Her ironies swirl and drop like the cast of a fly fisherman. This rhythmic motion seems to me ideal for both accepting and rejecting the ways of the wretched world while maintaining balance.” It may be difficult to understand how Jane is so able to relate...

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