By A. Tauchert
We have a good time Jane Austen because the mom of the English realist novel, yet have you puzzled why she insists on giving her mature heroines the 'perfect happiness' which can in simple terms be learned within the romance? Romancing Jane Austen asks the reader to contemplate Austen's satisfied endings as a 'prophetic' instead of in basic terms 'illusory' solution to the contradiction that female subjectivity represents for background. a cheerful finishing for the female topic? yet that may be opposed to the entire empirical odds...
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Additional resources for Romancing Jane Austen: Narrative, Realism, and the Possibility of a Happy Ending
But her ‘metaphoric’ assessments are nonetheless resonant with what turns out to be the truth. ’145 Catherine’s specific quest, from this perspective, concerns her aesthetic as much as her ethical judgement, as myth and realism tend to adopt ‘a favored trope’. 146 Lucente, Frye, McKeon and Jameson broadly locate the cultural highpoint of ‘myth’ and its expression as narrative ‘romance’ in pre-capitalist stages of history: ‘the early stages of social communion’. English realism makes its ‘passage to the surface’ in the eighteenth century, and becomes dominant in the nineteenth century; parallel to the consolidation of the industrial-capitalist mode in the West.
In each case, but expressed differently, the ‘recognition and reversal’ familiar from tragedy is transmuted with a wink into a transformative experience of comedic enlightenment in the feminine consciousness that centres the narrative focus. The comedic resolution of harmonious marriage, redolent of the spring/summer quarter of cyclical myth, becomes the object of feminine desire, and is achieved through specifically feminine modes of heroic agency or ‘virtue’ (modesty, passivity, restraint, negativity).
There was not one family among their acquaintance who had reared and supported a boy accidentally found at their door – not one young man whose origin was unknown. 155 Catherine’s destined romance quest is quickly deflated to the more realist dimensions of a ‘six weeks’ residence in Bath’, but revived again 38 Romancing Jane Austen in her sudden ‘abduction’ to a real Abbey, by a wilful paternal figure who means to marry her to his son. ’ Following Henry’s realist injunction to Catherine to ‘remember the country and the age in which we live … that we are English, that we are Christians’, her ‘visions of romance are over’ and she is described as now ‘completely awakened’.
Romancing Jane Austen: Narrative, Realism, and the Possibility of a Happy Ending by A. Tauchert