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Jane's Austen's Use Of Realism In "Persuasion"

1063 words - 4 pages

Jane Austen only ever had six completed novels the last to be published being Persuasion (1818), all of which were based around the realist and novel of manners genre. Persuasion which falls into both these categories follows the tale of Anne Elliott, a character based upon the Cinderella archetype. Romanticism and novels of manners still to this day serves the same purpose, it provides the reader with a window in which to peer into someone else's life, some may have seen their reflections, especially the landed gentry of the day, who were of course Austen's subject matter, for the poorer classes, who were able to read or even afford a book, it revealed what was going on behind those close doors. Persuasion is unique amongst Austen's novels due to the protagonist’s maturity being twenty-seven, as opposed to the usual late teens or very early twenties, which feature in her other novels. There is also a greater emphasis on the inner-self and self-made man, rather than rank and nobility. The scathing social commentary presented in the novel is neatly separated. The focus strongly remains on marrying for status by either marrying within your own social group, or marry out of your social group to gain status. The second is one that features throughout all of Austen's novels marrying for love, regardless of social standing. Austin used literary techniques such as realism, third person narrators and created situations and characters all as tools for creating influence on the reader. Austen's subject matter was similar to that of other novelists at the time, what made Austen stand out though and become a regular on academic reading lists, was her sense of realism and harsh social commentary. The use of characterisation and theme allow Austen to present her own harsh views and judgments on society.
Austin's use of realism creates a broad appeal for the reader; the characters become show personality traits that are recognisable to the reader, which in turn creates influence. Austen's talent for detailing real life, provided her with much praise, Sir Walter Scott was just one of many who praised her methods writing in his journal; 'That young lady has a talent for describing the involvements and feelings and characters of ordinary life, which is to me the most wonderful I ever met with. The big Bow-wow strain I can do myself like any now going; but the exquisite touch, which renders ordinary commonplace things and characters interesting, from the truth of description and sentiment, is denied me.' As Austen's narrative strategies are analysed, one is closer to revealing the reasoning behind her immense success as a novelist. The use of realism offer s and insight into the unknown for most readers, but by creating characters such as the heroine, Anne Elliott who the reader can be most associated with, assists Austen in influencing the reader.
The novel uses an unknown third person omniscient narrator; this literary...

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