Jane Austen is, with some conjecture, the leading woman novelist in English literature. Any random answer to the prompts like 5 women novelists, women novelists you love, most wonderful lady novelists etc will always have Jane Austen at the first place… you may try this at home or school or college. It’s safe and satisfying and also convincing. There are many readers who begin their journey with classic literature by reading Jane Austen. There are also many readers who read Austen again and again because they find newness each time they read with a fresh perspective. In short, Austen is the magic that does not need long introductions. I am writing this article to list 5 major reasons (personal opinion) that will never let Austen go obsolete like many novelists from the past.
- Austen’s Themes: Eternal… love is eternal and so is a common concern almost in all the novels by Austen – love! Jane Austen deals with the theme of love in her novels in a way that no other novelist can tread in her circumference. She makes the readers elated with everything that’s about love. Courtship seems to be her forte and we can never forget the characters like Elizabeth, Darcy and Emma… Furthering her theme and even centring it around marriage (as many critics claim to be her shortcoming and monotonous progress), she can add various newness to her writings and make the readers feel comfortable even with the same setting again and again. Though you know that you will read about courtships, new courtships or courtships with different perspectives and then subsequent marriages, you will still read all the novels by Austen because her style is so unique that she can make the same parrot fly with the same feathers in many different ways…
- Austen’s Creations: The characters created by Jane Austen in her novels are the persons who take very special places in our head and heart and we seldom drop them out because of space constraints or forgetfulness. Austen’s characters are forever… Darcy has become the symbol of men with an edge and Elizabeth, the women with beauty and brain. Her characters are cheerful, thoughtful, creative, compulsive, humane, multi-faceted and versatile. And therefore, we can compare them with characters created by any other novelist and find that the upper hand is with Jane’s set of characters. For example, there is certain negativity about the characters of Hardy or even Charlotte Bronte, except for the exceptions which are there. Lawrence’s characters are in a different zone altogether. And the same can be said, the matter of being in a different space, about the characters created by Emily Bronte in her only novel. Whenever we sit to discuss romantic characters, Jane Austen’s shades of wonderful personae are there!
Side note for English literature students: If you are interested in notes on Austen, make sure you check the website: English Literature Notes
- Austen’s Language: The way Jane Austen describes people, places, emotions, thoughts, and anything else and everything is certainly wonderful. You can connect with her language and it makes the overall impression of her novels even better. Who can forget the witty remarks from Pride and Prejudice or the conundrum of Emma? This is, partly, due to the wonderful use of English as well. This part cannot be explained in details because it has to be felt. Just read her novels and see it for yourself.
- Austen’s Philosophy: This might be because of her personal preference, but most or all of the novels by Jane Austen end with happy notes. Characters are happy getting what they want and the readers are happy seeing their characters getting their rewards at the end of everything. Though the novels with tragic or complex endings have also become famous and they might stand the taste (with pun intended) of time, the preference will certainly be given to the works which might make the readers happy when they finish instead of making them think about what else could happen to make things even better for him or her (the novels by Hardy). Austen’s positivity must delight people and it will keep doing so!
- Austen’s Personal Life: All the readers who have a literature degree must understand this part already. Personal life of a novelist matters very much for the readers who become hardcore fans of a writer. Therefore, many readers are interested in knowing about the details of Jane Austen’s life as well. Jane was a devoted lover and she had a lover who dedicated his life (partly) to him as well. However, her love could not be fruitful and she remained unmarried until she lived… her life is a novel in itself and Jane had too much understanding of how love acts. And this is what we see in her novels. An astute role of love, with all its shades and shadows!
So, readers, this was the list of my 5 personal reasons that, I believe, will keep the works by Austen alive forever. What do you think about my opinions? You can let me know in comments and also, if you have just become a fan of Jane Austen, by chance, you can get her novels from Amazon India in digital or physical format and begin reading right away! To make your life easier, you can click the link below and go directly to Amazon with a list of Jane Austen’s works ready for your attention!
An article by a contributor to Literature News