• 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. Examine Guy de Maupassant’s narrative skills

    story that you just have to read on and find out the ending and if the Widow will carry out the plan. Again this is another narrative skill that Maupassant uses very well, making you think and want to read on.

  1. Comparing Elizabethan London to Modern Day London

    Meals in Elizabethan times were elaborate and large; breakfast was simply a light snack, while the main meal of the day was dinner, which began at 11 o'clock and lasted for three hours. A smaller supper was usual at 6 o'clock.

  2. How the writer creates interest in the story

    This clue suggests to the reader that later on in the story, someone will wish on the paw and his or her fate will end in sorrow. And now the reader knows why Sergeant-Major Morris speaks of the paw so gravely.

  1. 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!"

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

    Mr Bennet's first words show his initial reaction to his cousin's letter, 'at four o'clock we may expect the peace-making gentleman... he seems to be a most conscientious and polite young man.' He talks of this very formal and solemn letter in a playful manner, which shows his mockery of Mr Collins.

  1. great expectations

    Dickens uses alliteration when he says "low leaden line" when describing the river. Dickens also uses personification in the phrase "distant savage lair from which the wind was rushing", this makes us feel sorry for Pip, as it seems that the wind is out to get Pip.

  2. Who and what are the targets of Jane Austen(TM)s satire in Pride and Prejudice(TM) ...

    This forces Mr. Collins to look elsewhere and when Charlotte Lucas accepts his proposal of marriage, Elizabeth is shocked because of Charlotte's reasons for accepting him. 'I am not romantic you know. I never was. I ask only a comfortable home; and considering Mr.

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