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The portrait of a woman-Jane Austen

Updated on July 2, 2008

A supporter of matrimony?

Jane austen, the well known english novelist. Who hasn't heard of her. But i doubt whether many would have cared to reads her books. For one thing, the books belong to another era altogether, so one could say. For another, the old English used in her books very often makes it very difficult for many to grasp the meanings of her writings. For quite another, the long, winding descriptions with the story actually hidden in some remote corner, frustrates readers many a time. The long cumbersome dialogues taking place between the characters which often has no direct bearing upon the story also put the books at a disadvantage. By now, you would have singled me out as a staunch critic of austen's works, right? Quite wrong, in fact I am a great fan of her works, inspite of their so-called shortcomings.

Let us now look at the woman behind the novels, the authoress herself. i will not go into her life history, which any good site on the authoress or any good knowledge-sharing site will provide you. On the contrary, i will delve into my perception of the woman behind the veil. Jane austen's books always have a woman as the central character, be it the head strong Elizabeth Bennet in 'Pride and Prejudice' or the wealthy young Emma in her novel of the same name. Sometimes her novels have multiple heroines as in the case of 'Sense and Sensibility'. So basically, one can say that she is a heroine centred writer. and invariably, all of Austen's novels end with the heroine happily settled in matrimony. Though Austen herself was unmarried, she marries off her heroines in the end always, and most often to some charming, dashing, rich young man. My interpretation is that maybe Jane Austen did not want her heroines to go through the agony of loneliness which she suffered, or maybe it was to save them from the clutches of poverty, as she found out from her own experience. Maybe she wanted the whole world to have the happiness which she did not have. This is all i can make out of the mysterious Jane Austen who wrote thoe novels which held my heart, especially Pride and Prejudice, which I loved. Though i know a bit more about her works, my kowledge about the authoress is limited to this. And neither do i wish to know more. Let her always be a thing of mystery, because after all, 'Heard melodies are sweet, but those uheard are sweeter'. Any details about her life will not ,i think, in any way lighten the mystery surrounding her.

One suggestion i could offer is that if you could get your hand on the abridged versions of her books, you would find them easier to read and more enjoyable. in spite of any shortcomings her works might have,Jane Austen will remain in my mind as one of the greatest authoresses i have ever read.


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