Jane austen novelist
- Pride and Prejudice ‘is the most popular of Jane Austen’s noelsin the English language.”” Discuss the statement.
Jane Austen ‘as a Novelist
A Pure Artist
Jane Austen was one of the supreme artists in fiction.She was a highly sophisticated artist. ln the opinion of W.L. Cross, “She is one of the sincerest examples in our literature of art for art’s sake.” Her experience was meagre and insignificant, but from it sprang an art finished in every detail, filled with life, and meaning. She possessed the magic touch and a talent foor miniature painting. No doubt her range is limited, but her touch is firm and true. She uses a “little bit two inches wide of ivory” and she works on it “with so fine a brush as produces little effect after much labour.”
Her Limited Range
The range of Jane Austen’s novels was limited. She drew all her material from her own experience. She never went outside her experience, with the result that all her scenes belonged to South England where she had spenta conisiderable period of her life. Observes Moody-Lovett, “Miss Austen exploited with unrivalled expertness the potentialities of a seemingly narrow mode of existence. From the outset she limited her view to the world that she knew and the influences that she saw at work.
Jane Austen was the supreme reanster stories aro
the life that she knew, Emma tells us ol a delightful oirl .l drawn from the life that she k lon was cnperor. The ordinary commonplace
was the sup ofa delightful girl who is as she was in
the years wheatoday experience formed the warp and woof of her
novels, Sir Walter Scoft is diary that the talent of Jane Austen as a Trealist was the 1o el he nad ever met with. “That young lady talent for describing involvCiients, feclings and characters of ordinary life which is to me the most wonderful I have ever met with.”
Jane Austen’s attitude lowards life, presented in her novels, is that of a humorists. “1 dearly love a laugh,” says Elizabeth in Pride and Prejudice, and this statement equally applies lo the novelist. She laughs at follies and non-sense, whims and inconsistencies. F’oly is the chief source of laughter in the novels of Jane Austen and she creates comic characters who provoke nothing but laughter. Her comic characters are Mrs. Bennet, Sir Walter Eliot, Mrs. Norris, Mr. Collins and Mr. Woodhouse. She laughs at each one of them because of their foolishness and foolish actions. Irony is a Conspicuous aspect of Jane Austen’ s humour. There is enough of verbal irony in her novels.
Jane Austen rendered a great service to the English novel by developing a flexible, smooth-flowing prose style. She is sometimes a shade artificial. But at her best her prose moves nimbly and easily and enables not rise to any very great heights, being almost monotonous in its pedestrian sameness except when relieved by an occasional epigram oor well-turned aphorism. It achieves its greatest triumphs in dialogue. It is not a prose of enthusiasm or exaltation. Butitis wonderfully suited to dry satiric unfolding of the hopes and disappointments of the human heart.” W.L. Cross aptly remarks :”The style of Jane Austen cannot be separated from herself or her method. It is the natural easy tlowing garment of her mind, delighting inconsistencies and intinite detail. It is so peculiarly her own that one cannot trace in it with any degree ot certainty of the course of her reading.”
Indeed a Creator of Realistic Characters
Jane AuIsten is undoubtedly the greatest woman novelist as Shakespeare is the greatest dramatist. Faithful observation, personal detachment, and fine sense of ironic comedy are among Jane Austens
chief characteristics as a writer. Jane Austen’s novels mark limited a big but sTe her
forward in the development of Enolish novel. Her range is limited buter touch is tirm and true. Her stories mav not be exciting and thrilling Dutu picture of life that she presents has all the charm of vivid narratio Dialogues form a prominent feature of the narrative of Jane Ausiten stories are dramatic in nature. Her characters are taken mostiy iroi t aristocracy and upper middle class of the English village and its vicinity. She created numerous tealistic characters. She presents remarkaDie psycinological studies of men and women, avoiding passion and prejudice. Her novels have a distinct moral purpose. She is the greatest English novelist because of her craftmanship, purity and simplicity of her style and themes.