• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Why Austen bores the modern audience

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

'Jane Austen bores the modern audience: discuss This was my opinion of the author ensuing the five minutes of a BBC dramatization I was unfortunate enough to encounter, and the fifteen pages of Pride and Prejudice I endured two years ago. With the purpose of challenging this intolerance I set aside my prejudices and read it. ...Three days of summer holiday and a dozen or so hours of persistence later I reached the closing pages with an outlook that was, to say the least, unchanged; the faint interest sustained towards the middle of the novel was extinguished completely, and all my pessimistic expectations were depressingly established. The plot is centred around spouse gathering (the first line: 'it is a truth universally acknowledged that a single man in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a wife'), which is the foundation of many Victorian novels: Hardy, for example, takes this base and adds complications of treachery, death and suicide; Far from the Madding crowd, for example, begins with a rather placid story about a pretty woman and her admirers; by the conclusion the unsuccessful aforementioned is driven insane by the return of the deserted aforementioned and shoots him, then fails to kill himself. ...read more.

Middle

(My irrational exasperation stems from the unvarying employment of the word 'vexed' or 'vexation' instead of the plethora of synonyms available). It is a feat indeed then, when Austen writes a letter from Mr. Collins and intends it to be satirically ostentatious ('to be lamented', 'licentiousness of behaviour', 'augmented'). Writers of this age 'prided themselves with extravagant usage of punctuation: in the crafting of elaborate sentences' ('mine's longer than yours''); now [2007], the comma suffices - over-punctuated sentences tiresome to readers & difficult to understand. The structure of the book gives a predictability which is cringe-inducing after it's finished: early on in the first volume there are balls where the Netherfield and Longbourn parties are introduced to each other; Jane and Elizabeth both find partners whose meetings on the dance-floor are related in detail, and it is these affiliations which end in marriage at the book's conclusion. Austen may have been striving to produce an irony in Elizabeth's first meeting with Darcy - her rudeness towards him contrasting with the deep affection experienced later on - but Darcy's partiality is so obvious by his repeated hand-offerings; and his remarks at first ('not handsome enough to tempt me'), compared with Elizabeth's overdone disaffection ('I quite detest the man') ...read more.

Conclusion

Darcy pleads her 'justice' in perusing his countenance, and he offends her out of 'necessity'. The previous example especially is both humble and superior: he only insults her because he is forced to; nevertheless he is taking a liberty by considering a necessity to affront. (I resisted an urge here to cross reference Jane Austen with Catherine Tate. It's obvious who the real genius is...) Patterns of words are exploited throughout; recurrently the phrase structure of the adverb 'most' followed by an adjective in creating speech for the fairer sex: 'most displeased', 'most agitated', etc. The effect achieved is much the same as the abovementioned - an upper-class verbalization. The spectrum of emotional effects throughout the whole book is small. From the depiction of mild anticipatory discomfort to the fairly strong sense of awkwardness portrayed in Elizabeth's meetings with Darcy subsequent to the receiving of the explanatory letter, there is no contrast harsh enough for us to relate in any significant way to the character's happiness at the end of the story. In conclusion, despite my judgment of this book as an uneventful, upper-class, pretentious, boring novel so distant from today's morals as to be almost surreal; which only approaches the mildly amusing in the half-hearted humour directed at the un-funny comments by Mr. Bennet above; I can go as far to say that when compared with the two greatest writers of her era, Austen has a comfortable top-three placement. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Miscellaneous section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Miscellaneous essays

  1. Adrian Mole Chapter Notes

    Her friends laughed at Mr Lucas, Adrian's father helped Mrs Lucas take the stove to the van. When Adrian's mother rang Mr Lucas he seemed very depressed and he is not going to work. Adrian's mother and father argued on the way to the bus stop, Adrian took the long way to school.

  2. Great expectations

    For example, Dickens uses a descriptive opening paragraph so the reader can imagine the same type of thing that Dickens is. The narrator, Pip, remembers how he was when he was a child; this gives us an insight into Pip's younger self, showing us how he used to be, and thus, the story being revealed through the eyes of Pip.

  1. Great Expectations

    The detail in which Miss Havisham is described leads you to think that it plays quite an important place in the story especially after Pip's meeting with Miss Havisham he imagines he sees her hanging in the courtyard "I saw a figure hanging there by the neck.

  2. Cinderella modern adaptation

    "I don't know... what if something happens? What if their drinks get spiked? A lot can happen in these sorts of events." he answered. "Don't be ridiculous!" she exclaimed. "I'm not. I'm just being realistic." He paused. "Oh fine! They can go!"

  1. Adventure begins here.

    "He was crying hard and said he was going to tell...so we told him to rinse off the blood in the river. We went to the river and told him to get in, that's when he told us he couldn't swim.

  2. How Does Jane Austen Present Mr Collins in Pride and Prejudice? What is His ...

    and I shall not be the one to discourage him.' This shows her obvious desperation to marry off her daughters to anyone possible, and also her volatile nature, in that she changes her view on Mr Collins, because he has suddenly become useful to her.

  1. Great Expectations

    From the character and turn of the inscription, "Also Georgiana Wife of the Above," I drew a childish conclusion that my mother was freckled and sickly." Although Pip didn't know how his parents appeared, he tried to change that by observing their graves stones to visualize what they looked like.

  2. How the writer creates interest in the story

    This instantly causes the reader to think... whom is he agreeing with? And to what is he agreeing? Now the author has created curiosity as well as interest. He keeps the reader's interest by creating questions in their minds. He achieves this effect by feeding the reader bits of information, while never explaining fully the situation.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work