1. Introductory Aspects (2016)Apunte Inglés
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The context of Jane Austen
Jane Austin was born before the romantic period. This means that she was deeply
enrooted in the enlightenment. Her writing was conditioned by all the historical
landmarks (mentioned in the first class), as for example the Declaration of Independence,
French Revolution and the Napoleonic wars (among others see doc 1.Historical Context).
Pride and Prejudice will hold onto the idea of freedom and individuality; the predominant idea that appears is that you can actually do something to improve in life and move from social class.
Jane Austin uses the ides of the French revolution, and shows in her novels how and why women are so disempowered in society. The empowering of lower classes is seen as a threat for the upper-classes. Below the Aristocracy there was another class called “the landed-gentry”.
Aristocracy had nobiliary titles (being nobles), and they were landowners, and peerage.
On the other hand, the landed gentry were also land owners, though they were commoners (not with a noble title). The middle class wanted social and political recognition, so they started to merge with the upper classes.
Aristocracy and landed gentry didn’t have to work and had a leisured life. The middle class, however, had to work or at least some of the previous people in the family had (Bingley in Pride and Prejudice is a clear example; he does not have to work because his father and grandfather made a big fortune and basically he can live from it).
Austen’s family belonged to the middle family. They followed a mainstream culture and ideology. Austen was familiar with the gothic books and this topic, but she didn’t write about it - She does not create that type of fantasy.
She published Sense and Sensibility in 1811 – under the name of “A Lady”. When she published Pride and prejudice in 1813, she did it under the name of “by the published of sense and sensibility”. She published as well Mansfield Park (1814), Emma (1816), Northanger Abbey and Persuasion (1818 – after her death, she didn’t see these published).
All of Jane Austen’s novels followed similar patterns. She herself described them as “pictures of domestic life in country villages”. She doesn’t talk about difficult-tounderstand issues, or any other abstract issues. She doesn’t talk either about the decisive historical events of her time. For example, in Pride and Prejudice she doesn’t even mention the Napoleonic Wars; she doesn’t give a reason for the militia to be in the city.
Also, she leaves out the working class, and presents silence servers.
Encuentra más apuntes en UnyBook.com - @aserrano Jane Austen’s novels are/were a combination of the following: - 18th century aspects (enlightenment): - There is no abstract thinking.
- Concerned with moral virtue and social commentary - Social and personal relationships.
- Rational capacity (if there is a problem, there is discussion) - Polite society is worthy (were supposed to be).
- Positive impact of education of children (men and women) and lack of it.
- Pursuit of balance (harmonious, feeling of closure, circular). It is very eighteenth century like.
- Idea of Wit (being clever, intelligent ironies, sophisticated, etc. Lizzy.) - Aspects of the romanticism: - Coalition of the gentry and the aristocracy. Scaling up in the social pyramid.
- Progress in life, speaking their minds (women).