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Legend Female Jane Austen
发布时间:2015-07-01 浏览次数:

 

 

Jane Austen is one of the most marvelous realism novelists in British literature history during the 19th century. Both her two masterpieces, Pride and Prejudice and Persuasion, are connected with love and marriage. However, these two works are widely divergent towards the same theme.

 

Pride and Prejudice as Austen’ s magnum opus typically reflects her view of marriage, where she advocated the same significance of love and economy in a marriage. And she particularly put emphasis on the equal relationship between man and female by giving an interpret to the essence of marriage, which had ponderously scourged the view of patriarchy marriage at that time.

 

Persuasion is the last mature masterpiece Austen ever wrote. Compared with Pride and Prejudice, the theme of marriage is further incarnated in this novel. Generally speaking, Annie and Wentworth in Persuasion bear little resemblance to Elizabeth and Darcy in Pride and Prejudice, and the former ultimately establish an equal, harmonious and interdependent relationship of love on the base of mutual respect and devotion. The coalescence of Annie and Wentworth announces that Austen had reached her peak on the comprehension of marriage.

 

Perhaps, Austen had just followed the pace of the awakening of women’ s awareness, however, it was that advancing awareness that showed powerful practical significance during that materialistic and moneyed period.

 

Austen spent her whole life in the countryside, where small landlords and pastors were the most characters she routinely made contact with. In such a relaxing and tranquil atmosphere, it is rare to see reflects of serious social contradictions in her works. Despite the limits of breadth and depth in writing, Austen had vividly described the little world surrounding her by virtue of her nuanced observation and grasp of exquisite emotions, especially the love anecdotes between ladies and gentlemen. As Emma has ever said, “Female’s happiness hides in the daily chores.” That is why the mainstream of Austen’ s works is trivial matters. To some extent, it was a priority in Austen’ s period to seize a pleasant marriage, which can be implied from her insistent on the theme of love and marriage. Critic Walter Scott ever commented, “This female is skilled in narrating the characters and feelings in daily life, and, is the most sublime author whose Midas-touching literacy makes the ordinary intriguing.”

 

In Pride and Prejudice, Austen narrated four main types of marriage. Elizabeth and Darcy’s love was based on both economy guarantee and affection base, but Charlotte and Collins just aimed at “reliable storage room” and there was little affection engaged in their marriage. Jane and Charles’s marriage had more to do with appearance, morality and property. And Lydia who never mulled over got married purely out of sexual drive. Obviously, heroine Elizabeth’s marriage is what Austen had been looking forward to, meanwhile, Charlotte’s is the real life’s scan. In addition, Jane gains the same happiness in her marriage as Elizabeth does, yet her independent personality and advancing female awareness are more popular with the author. No doubt that Lydia’ s decision is cast aside and made fun of by Austen. Austen had absolutely demonstrated her view of marriage via these descriptions: Property, pedigree and love are the three fundamental aspects in running the marriage. It is wrong to get married because of money, but it is unwise to accept a marriage without property; and marriage can not be built on the property and pedigree, yet marriage is more like the castle in the air taking no account of property and class. Although she preferred to give a priority to love, Austen showed necessity of both property and love in a marriage, which was extraordinarily meaningful in Austen’ s era.

 

Owing to the sprout of capitalism and recession of aristocratic stratum, the characters in Austen’ s novel gradually turned into middle class, which is apparently featured in her later works, especially in Persuasion. Different from the marriage types in Pride and Prejudice, where Austen was in tune with the platitude that only love and money combined was the source of happy marriage, Austen had changed her thought of money’s function in marriage in Persuasion. Up to this point, she had no longer regarded the property as the premise of a nice marriage. Furthermore, Austen also pointed out that sensibility and prudence were not always advisable since they might lead to the wrong road in a marriage. Only when property and pedigree were abandoned and affection came out sincerely from the bottom of the heart would the marriage last.

 

From Pride and Prejudice to Persuasion, time has witnessed huge change in Austen’ s attitude. The social development and awakening of female awareness gave a boost to the transformation of females’ role in Britain during the 18th century. In the past, females were only restrained in the attics and kitchens, however, they gradually realized that they were as capable as the males of qualifying those jobs and challenges ever just done by the males. Their life was more colorful and broad, and their happy marriage was liberated from money due to the economy independence. All changes stick to one principle: sincere love is the crux of cheerful marriage.

 

Of course, the transformation of marriage types in Austen’ s novels is still of great significance to our modern society. We are now in such a society where a multitude of individuals are fiend with money, which is to blame for the strange phenomenon that pretty girl is willing to found a family with the old millionaire. In this way, Austen’ s novel is never a quaint anachronism in this era, on the contrary, it has mattered than ever before. 

 

(Editor: Shi Yingfeng Source: English Net)

                    

 

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