The Impact of Jane Austen’s Life on Her Novels

Zhang Jie

School of Foreign Language, China West Normal University, Nanchong, China Email:

Published: 16 May 2019 Copyright © Jie.

Cite this article: Jie, Z. (2019). The Impact of Jane Austen’s Life on Her Novels. International Journal of Liberal Arts and Social Science, 7(4), 26-32.

Abstract Fictions show the contradictions through the plot, displaying the basic demands of the author by the contradictions, which is the reproduction of art. The literary and artistic values of Jane Austen’s novels have so far been explored and studied by academics. This paper mainly describe from two aspects: the contemporary women writers and the social background which objectively analysis the influence on Austen writing, and also subjectively start from her own growth environment and life experience, analysis of these aspects help female writer literature succeed.

Keywords: Jane Austen, women writer, social background, personal experience

1. Introduction Jane Austen (1775.12.16—1817.7.18),19th century British novelist, one of the most influential female writers in the history of world literature, her works are mainly concerned with the marriages and lives of the gentry family women, describe the world aroud her by women’s unique meticulous observation and lively words. Her representative works: Sense and Sensibility(1811),Pride and Prejudice(1813),Mansfield Park(1814),Emma(1815), Northanger Abbey( 1818), Persuasion(1818) known as the status of “writer who can equal to Shakespeare”. Jane Austen was born in 1775, died in 1817, at the age of 42 years old. Her family social status is higher, her father is the local diocesan, as this position for nearly four decades, learned, temperament refined. Jane Austen’s mother was born rich, and literary cultivation is very high, so in such an environment to grow, although Jane Austen did not go to a regular school, but her literacy is very high. Home wealthy economic conditions and elegant reading environment, coupled with her own love of literature, to develop her interest in writing. When she was thirteen years old, she showed a strong interest in writing. In 1800, her father retired, the family moved to Bath. Completely unfamiliar environment, money for the social atmosphere, coupled with delicate and sensitive heart led Jane Austen in this place suffering from depression. Later, her unique temperament to attract a local wealthy young people, and Jane Austen to marry him. Jane Austen did not like the young man, so her refused. After her father died, they moved to Southampton again. In 1816, she was seriously ill and sent to Winchester to see a doctor, but eventually failed to retain her life. In July 1817, she died in her sister’s arms. Jane Austen life unmarried, lonely, lost love and change for literary achievements. Refer to the reason I write Jane Austen is that I watch the film Becoming Jane, the film starring Anne Hathaway, interpretation of Jane Austen’s life, coupled with I read Pride and Prejudice before, I could not help comparing Jane with Elizabeth. I think, Jane regards himself as Elizabeth, Elizabeth as her avatar, not only explained Jane’s experience and attitude in a certain extent, but also expressed Jane’s desire of love, so Darcy and Elizabeth happy life together, but Jane is life unmarried. It made me curious about Jane Austen’s life and her work, and I could not help thinking how her life had any effect on her other works. That’s why I wrote this paper. At the same time, the author’s life for their works must be influential, will be reflected in all aspects of the work, and Jane Austen as the 19th century British great female novelist, her works will not only reflect her life, more importantly, We can find through the analysis of the 19th century British social situation: political, economic, cultural, religious can be reflected in my paper, and because Jane is in the middle class, you can learn more about the middle of the village 19th century British society, which UK we usually learn the history of the textbooks is very different.

2. Literature Review The paper is mainly study from three aspects and research systematicly, analysis of Austen’s personal life, writing ideas and characters, from these three aspects of Jane Austen’s article, analysis the influence of Jane Austen’s life on his works. 2.1 The Study of Biography Murray Douglas’s “Austin’s Passion: The Portrait of the Regent in Emma” (2007), this article explores the characters in “Emma”: Woodhall Sri Lanka, Churchill, and so on, according to the historical facts of Jane Austen’s time, which hint at all the members of the royal family. Also the analysis when Jane Austen in the process of creating this novel has happened many unknown details on her. Willy Eiseno Alice Mary analyzed Jane Austen’s novels at “Edward Austin Knight’s Goldsmith Library and Jane Austen’s Emma (2007)” the reading habits of the characters, which may be the portrayal of the Austen family’s reading habits, the reader also through Jane Austen’s characters reading habits to help understand the characters in the novel. The author points out that the Edward Austen Knights’ writings are owned by Richard Austen, the descendants of their family. These writings exist in the Goldsmith Library, which is of great value to those who are interested in studying the Jane Austen family. The author also argues that there may be some connection between Edward Austen Knights’ writers and Jane Austen’s literary influence. Foreign Brownstein Rachel M in “Jane Austrian: Irony and the Authority (1998)” analyzed Jane Austen’s use of her right to speak to show that women in the male society also can get their own fun. 2.2 The Study of Fiction Theory Zhou Yaming’s “The Fall of the Best Myth of Men – Jane Austen, in the Feminist Literary Perspective”, interprets her feminism pursuing by analyzing the absence of male images in Jane Austen’s novels or the decline of male images. Zhang Dandan analyzes her novels’ practical significance in the “stubborn souls – on Jane Austen’s feminist ideology” and re-examines the literary and artistic creation lines and literature and art in her novels with modern feminist criticism thought. Wu Weihua in the “analysis of ‘Prejudice and Pride’ female writing position” in this article analysis Jane Austen refused to use male writers’ grand narrative but use the true experience of women to write. Yang Lixin in the “From the structure of ‘Prejudice and Pride’ discuss Jane Austen’s female consciousness” in the use of mythological archetypal criticism and feminist criticism these two methods, analysis of Jane Austen’s novel “Cinderella model”. Although express the female consciousness, but her novel still marked the male culture. Qiu is one of the translators of Jane Austen’s novel, who has written “Austen and the British Women”, in this article from the female consciousness, female image to explore the social change and literary changes’ inner relationship. 2.3 The Study of Character Academics are more use hero or heroine as the object of study, in which the heroine are non-traditional female-based, as early as the eighties, Fang Hanquan wrote “on’ Emma’ ”. As well as from the perspective of marriage interpretation in Jane Austen’s novels of the young male figure image is the Zhou Yi’s paper “comment on Austen’s male courtship image”, which summed up three different characters: The first male hero, the hypocritical second male protagonist and the comic male courtship. The main characters are only devoted to Smith and Harfax in “Emma”; Li Haidong’s “mystery of the thread, the state of self-examination, the mystery of enlightenment – – the role of the second person Hercules in the “Emma” and An Qi’s “Analysis of the secondary characters in Emma Jane Phil Philip”. The masterpiece of the image of women has CaiLanLan’s “The female image in Jane Austen ‘Prejudice and Pride”’, and Pan Weixin’s“ The group of women in Austen works” only involves the image of young women, For the older female image is not discussed.

3. The Impact of Jane Austen’s Life on Her Novels 3.1 The Impact of Personal Experience Personal experience mainly devided into two parts: growth environment and emotional experience. These two aspects dominate the writing of the characters, storylines, and convey the author’s personal values. Jane Austen was born in a priestly family in Steventon Township, Hampshire, England, having a peaceful and well-off country life. Her family has eight children, Austin is the sixth one. She had never been to a regular school, at the age of nine Austin was sent to her sister’s school. Sister Cassandra is her best friend of her life, but Austen’s enlightenment education is more because of her father. Austin loves reading and writing, when she was eleven years old has begun to create. In her adulthood, Austin moved with her family many times. In 1817, Austin was ill, in order to facilitate medical treatment, his family moved to Manchester, however, she died in two months later. Austin was buried in Winchester Cathedral. Jane Austen wasn’t married in her life and was died in forty-one years old. Jane Austen’s main textbook is the father’s literary collection. Austin loves reading popular novels, mostly vulgar recreational items. The practice of her girlhood is a funny imitation of these popular novels, which formed the tone of her mockery. Austin, as a result of living in rural towns, is exposed to small landlords, pastors and others and their quiet and comfortable living environment, so there is no major social contradiction in her fiction. Her feminine unique meticulous observation, truely describe the small world around her, especially the marriage and love storm between the ladies and gentlemen. Her novels are witty and comic, and Austen’s novels departed from normal practice of showing the daily life and pastoral style of the British countryside middle class, which had not yet been hit by the capitalist industrial revolution. Her novels tend to ridicule people’s stupid, selfish, snobbish and blind self-confidence through comic scenes. It is also because of Austen’s small life circle, which makes her novels are often confined to the ordinary gentry daughters’ love stories and marriage, and her works to some extent reflect the feudal forces point of view. The work mainly through the ladies and gentlemen’s social communication, daily dialogue to reflect the family and social moral standards. In 1796, 20-year-old Austin met Lever Roy. She falls in love with this smart and sly Irish young lawyer at first sight. Because of the family, they were forced to break up, Austin chose not to marry for life, and all the emotions into the literary creation. “He told her that she had the talent, and he encouraged her to follow her thoughts in her writing, and although they were not together, the affection had inspired her to become a professional writer.” At the same time this feeling is also mapped in Jane’s work. “Pride and Prejudice,” the reality of the arrogant, handsome Mr. Darcy, is mapping Tom Lever Roy, a trainee lawyer, but Darcy is rich, independent, with power, status, do not need to rely on others. Beautiful, intelligent, slightly extreme Elizabeth, the mapping is Jane. Austen himself, but Elizabeth in the emotional, no more in the family of fetters. So, “Pride and Prejudice”, Darcy and Elizabeth eventually came together. And Tom Lever Roy and Jane Austen, but ultimately can only become a love but cannot be together “friends”. In my opinion, this is Austen’s mapping and expectation of his love. Express her own experience and dissatisfaction and anger through the novel. It’s not hard to see Austin’s specificity, and it’s not hard to see Austen’s desire for a better love. This is also under the influence of social factors caused by a special love experience and ideas. The view of love in the novel: As we all know, Jane Austen never married. This is not because she is not attractive, in fact, there was a man who can inherit large sums of money to marry her, even after her elopement he is also willing to marry her. But Jane still did not hesitate to refuse. For Jane Austen, she does not want to be one of these women. She did not want to marry because of the property they do not love people, do not want to lose love because she hope that their marriage is because of love. So in her works to convey the same view of love, for many women’s influence is still very far-reaching. 3.2 The Impact of Social Environment The influence of society on a person is multifaceted, and for a writer, the political, economic and cultural, all the aspects of society have a subtle influence on his works. Jane Austen’s works are the epitome of the nineteenth century British society. Reflect the impact of society on the works all the time. First of all, the political reason affects a little. The Victorian era was the peak of Britain. When Britain’s political, economic and cultural development made Britain the world’s most powerful country. Jane Austen was born in such a social context. The only shock of country people to the industrial revolution is that they value the money. Jane Austen was born in this atmosphere. In the years when she was born and grew, she clearly saw the low status of women in the countryside and the snobbishness of the countryside. She saw countless country girls who marry those who do not love because of their property. Jane Austen, who is well educated at home, is not willing to become one of these people, so she wants to resist. Good literate allows her to express her feelings and wishes through her own pen. In 1800, her father retired, the family moved to Bath. Completely unfamiliar environment, money for the social atmosphere, coupled with delicate and sensitive heart led Jane Austen in this place suffering from depression. In addition, there are two unfinished novels “Sanditon” (the last work) and “The Watsons” (due to the death of his father led to a very low mood, it is not finished). Secondly, the traditional thinking of the middle class has some effects. In terms of morality and religion, her attitude tends to be conservative. Austen’s childhood tradition of ethical and ethical education, which has been praised by society, has had a very strong rationality that is not available to ordinary people, and based on her conservative tendencies in terms of morality and religion, Value is that people in their own environment in line with the norms of behavior, rational speech and behavior. Words and deeds, things have a sense of proportion, virtue is the necessary criteria for life. 3.3 The Impact of Religion In Jane Austen’s work, it is worth mentioning that she works in religious factor. As we all know, Jane Austen’s life is the age of the rise of British religion, she was born in the clergy family, but also believe in the British Anglican Church, religion cannot have an impact on her life and work. Although Jane Austen’s work rarely shows her religious view, there is no direct comment on the religious activities of society of that time, and less about religious issues through content or subject. But Jane Austen is a society of women like her Identity and vision to look at religious issues, she used the form of literature to express the impact of religion on her. Jane Austen’s novels are fictional, they come from life, the small number, mostly from the middle class and squire, which is one of the main sources of British Anglican believers. The author of this arrangement is to emphasize the moral thinking and ethical identity through the differences and similarities between the hero’s character and behavior, and these moral standards are determined by the author in accordance with the moral requirements of the Anglican Church, And the emotional between the Eleanor and her sisters of the sharp contrast between the “Mansfield Garden” in the contrast between Finney and Mary, etc. so that the author can show that the moral, that is, the Holy Association of moral praise. Jane Austen’s novels can be divided into two categories, one is active and the other is passive. “Arrogance and prejudice”, “Emma” is the active protagonist; “Nuosangjue Temple”, “Mansfield Garden” and “persuasion” in the “senses and emotions”, the two kinds of heroes both, Arrangements are passive protagonists. Both of these characters are interrelated with the virtues of Christians and the virtues of self-restraint. Active protagonists are always repeated mistakes, but at a critical moment, can unexpectedly make the right choice; and passive protagonist is that they have the right judgment but cannot make the right thing, destined to passively Endure the dilemma rather than take the initiative to overcome the dilemma, until the surrounding environment unexpectedly occurred in favor of their changes, they harvest happiness. For the protagonist of the initiative, the turning point of fate is that they have a humble performance and self-restraint after the act, which is the virtue of Christians, it appears in time and coincidence in the plot progress; and passive heroes Always have a Christian-like humility and self-restraint, but these virtues are usually ignored, until the other people’s selfish character to the hero of these virtues to set out, and harvest happiness.

4. Conclusion Jane Austen’s work has a mysterious power, a unique narrative pattern. Austen handed down classic, full of happiness in Austen’s work, Warmness is always accompanied by all the readers, even in the marriage issues for the reader pointed out a door to happiness. Jane Austen destined to become a classic, her charm more than art, more deeply in her deep, calm wisdom for the world and become the inheritance.

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