Jane Austen As A Moralist Or A Realist

Essay by irbazkhanumtCollege, Undergraduate January 2012

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Jane Austen as a moralist or a realist

It is a mistake to see Austen as either a moralist or a realist? No, I think these are wholly appropriate and instructive ways of reading her work, as long as we keep in mind the fact that they do not exhaust the possibilities of meaning generated by a text like Pride and Prejudice. We need to remember Bakhtin's view of the novel form, deriving from its origins in popular, comic, anti-establishment traditions, as essentially self-questioning and protean. In Chapter One it was rightly stressed that our cultural expectations of different genres, such as detective fiction, are inherent in our ability to read them appropriately. Our experience in this chapter of reading Pride and Prejudice provides a balancing warning. We must not let preconceptions about a literary genre become a straitjacket to our reading that limits the perpetual novelness of the novel form.

Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

Jane Austen creates a modern kind of work through Pride and Prejudice. Although set long ago, the reader finds that the situation the characters find themselves in is prevalent to all people, for love is something everyone encounters. Under the fanciness of 18th century society and way of life, Austen's characters are quite ordinary characters whose personalities can still be found today. Like people today, they must endure problems and complications of the world.

Through this novel, Jane Austen conveys a message to her readers through the society of 18th century and the love of two individuals. Through the theme of love and courtship, Austen also creates a moral of human virtue in Pride and Prejudice. Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy, through their unfortunate series of misunderstanding, both learn lessons about values while they find true love. Mr. Darcy, was once proud and snubbed...