Jane Austen: The 'Novel of Manners'

The DEBT to the 18th century NOVEL; Themes ; Pride And Prejudice; characterization; The Characters; Structure And Style; Themes; Moral Standards... (9 pagine formato doc)

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JANE AUSTEN JANE AUSTEN The 'Novel of Manners' Jane Austen contributed to what has been called as the NOVEL OF MANNERS, a kind of fiction focused on everyday routine life and events.
Her novels are based on the premise that there is a vital relationship between manners, social behaviour and character. They are usually set in those levels of society where people do not ha- ve to struggle for survival and where they are free to develop more or less elaborate RULES, CODES and CONVENTIONS of daily behaviour. Given this kind of situation, the novel of manners explores character, personal relationships, class distinctions and their effect on cha- racter and behaviour; the role of MONEY and PROPERTY in the way people treat each other; the complications of LOVE and FRIENDSHIP within this social world. CONVERSATION plays a central role in these novels and PASSIONS and EMOTIONS are not expressed directly but mo- re subtly and obliquely.
The DEBT to the 18th century NOVEL Jane Austen owes much to the 18th century novelists: from Richardson and the epistolary novel she learned the endless possibilities offered by the insight into the psychology of the characters and the subtleties of the ordinary events of life, like balls, walks, tea-parties and visits to friends and neighbours; from Fielding she derived the OMNISCIENT NARRATOR and the technique of bringing the character into existence through dialogue. Unlike the Augustan writers, however, she restricted her view to the world of the COUNTRY GENTRY she knew best. THEMES The traditional values of the families of the landed gentry and upper middle class ( PROPERTY, DECORUM, MONEY and MARRIAGE ) provided the basis of the plots and settings of her novels. Jane Austen's preoccupation was with people, and the analysis of character and conduct. She remai-ned committed to the common sense and moral principles of the previous generation but checked them through her own direct observation and spontaneous feeling. Her work is amusing and, at the same time, deals with the serious matters of LOVE, MARRIAGE and PARENTHOOD. The happy ending is a common element to her novels: they all end in the marriage of hero and heroine. What makes them interesting is the concentration on the steps through which the protagonists successfully reach this stage in their lives. The author treats love and sexual attraction according to her general view that strong impulses and intensely emotional states should be regulated, CONTROLLED and BROUGHT TO ORDER by private reflection, not in favour of some abstract standard of reason but to fulfill a social obligation. The heroine's reflection after a crisis or climax is a usual feature of J. Austen's novels because understanding and coming to terms with her private feelings allows her personal judgement to establish itself and secures her own moral autonomy. PRIDE AND PREJUDICE ( 1813 ) PLOT The novel's plot is based on the Bennet family who belong to the country gentry. It is set at Longbourn,