An invitation into the depths of Jane Austen’s novel
Do we ever think about a book before we start to read it? Do we develop opinions before reading a book? Are the opinions the same after we have finished reading it? Likely most people have read one, two or all the books written by Jane Austen. Likely most enjoyed the books very much. One question poses now; Have they all understood what they have been reading? At the first sight what appears is: romance, wanting money, match making and jelaousy. Very light and easy text to read some would say. What is really behind these light and easy reading stories? Pretty much of what is at first sight, we can freely say. Going and searching deeply into this extraordinary novelist we are amazed by the facts and themes which appear behind the stage. The novel “Sense and Sensibility“ will be used as an example of these hidden themes of the story. The time period during which Austen wrote this novel was during the conversion between classicism and romanticism and so the theme of reason versus passion has historical resonance. The two girls represent these two persuasions. Elinor represents the opinion sense and Maryanne sensibility. The other, very important themes are the inheritance of money, women’s struggle for a better life, a better future and survival, irony and sarcasm are widely spread in this novel. According to all these things, Austen gives so much power to her characters and she seems very much in tune with today's sensibilities as well. They are not, in today's parlance, victims. Austen's favourite subjects are love and marriage, and her steadfast refusal to romanticize romance; with her acknowledgment that money, class, and what other people think matter in the real world; that marriage does not result in a happy ending for everyone; and that it is dangerous to let passion blind us to reality.
Conference or Workshop Item
Click below to view a document.