JANE AUSTEN'S COLLECTION (PUBLISHED AND WELL-KNOWN)
I am positive many of you know of the works of Jane Austen. I am a particular fan, so if I express my opinions with overly dramatic emphasis, excuse my obvious obssession. Ever since I was 14, I have been reading Austen. I'm 18 now and quite familiar with nearly all Austen's collection. The works (Pride and Prejudice, Sense and Sensibility, and Emma) are that which I will be reviewing, and I hope I do Austen the justice she deserves.
With writing more advanced and sophisticated than most literary successes today (cough *twilight* cough), and a scope and understanding of multiple topics, Austen brought the world of writing to generations beyond her own. Why do we study her today?
... Coz she's just bloody good. End of conversation. ;)
Naturally, I digress, so let me return to my intention.
PRIDE AND PREJUDICE-
Ah, the classic. Published in 1813, some years after Jane had actually completed the manuscript. The story follows the trials, triumphs and experiences of one Elizabeth Bennet, whose 4 sisters and parents are bountiful personalities themselves. The novel is essentially a historical romance and social commentary, as explored through the very apparent separations between social status. Elizabeth's choice to engage with with upper class regency (namely, Mr Darcy and company), often puts her in tense and hurtful situations. Additionally, as Elizabeth's disdain for Mr Darcy turns to growing affection, the barriers between social class are emphasised. Considering that the novel was originally titled 'First Impressions', the relationship between Darcy and Lizzy seems to be the main point of interest. Pride, perhaps forced by circumstance, blinds the two from understanding the actions and behaviour of one another. It is only when a simple yet revealing letter is given to Elizabeth, that eyes begin to open. Throughout the plot, Austen's criticism of social barriers remains part of a subtle undertone, with characters constructed to represent certain contexts. Overall, a highly effective piece, with strong character development and an intelligent and admirable heroine. My fave. :)
SENSE AND SENSIBILITY-
This was actually Austen's first novel(1811), centering on the lives of sisters Elinor and Marianne. The girls are forced to accept the tight grip of primogeniture, whereby upon their father's death, the family home is left to their older brother, John. A change of residence brings a number of interesting characters to the forefront of their story, namely Edward Ferrars and Colonel Brandon. After a series of emotional events, including revelations of a libertine in the midst, a confused marriage and a lot of pain in Marianne's ankle, all turns well for the sisters. Elinor marries Edward; their love being hinted to and teased throughout the story..and eventually Marianne's sense improves enough to influence her to marry the kind Colonel Brandon. My opinion of the piece is that although sometimes slow in plot development, it retains a strange sort of superiority as events are more realistic.
December 1815 saw the production of Emma, set in three volumes. Dedicated to the prince-regent at the time, Emma is a comical and heartfelt portrayal of the life of the title character. Youthful and naieve, as well as beautiful, spoilt and rich, Emma boasts all the features asked of a woman in her upper class standing. Often advised by the family friend, Mr Knightley, on how to act and behave, Emma ocassionally rebels. Her quite innocent plans to matchmake lead to her into some serious issues. For instance, a Mr Elton (who is supposed to be matched to Harriet Smith) falls for Emma, the arrival of one Frank Churchill (who Emma attempts to fall for), and a party at Box Hill that goes awfully awry. Upon being scolded by Mr Knightley for immaturity and insensitivity towads others, Emma becomes humbled and realises where she has erred. Eventually, she realises she loves Mr Knightley and he returns the feelings. A suitable marriage occurs. In all areas this is a successful text. Characters are well thought out; plot is devised with meticulous and elaborate detail, and the writing itself is splendid. I thoroughly enjoyed it.
I hope I have not upset too many readers with my youthful observations, but I would certainly like to hear from other admirers of Austen's works! :)