Friday, October 14, 2011

Why I Love Jane Austen's Novels: Favorite Characters, Favorite Lines, and Favorite Everything!

     Jane Austen is one of my favorite authors.  I could almost say she is my favorite but there are so many other great authors it seems wrong to.  She did write my favorite book though, Pride and Prejudice.  As she is one my favorite authors, I thought it only appropiate to dedicate a blog post to her.  First off, I don't look at Jane Austen's novels as romance novels.  Wanted to clear that up first.  I don't read romance novels, and if her novels were I wouldn't read them.  Jane Austen's novels have a lot more to them then romance.  They have wit and wisdom, good and evil, and important Christian values ingrained into them that make them so much more then romance novels. 
       With that in mind, I would like to add that Jane Austen's novels are not just for girls.  Boys can and do read Austen's novels.  Peter Leithart Ph.D. says in his book Minitures and Morals: The Christian Novels of Jane Austen, "Real men read Austen."  I have brothers who enjoy Austen, my dad enjoys Austen, and I know of other men who do as well, Peter Leithart Ph.D. being one of them.  "Real men read Austen."
       So let's talk a little about the characters of Austen's books.  Austen's novels have many well crafted characters, some good some evil, that will always be remembered.  It is so hard to select a favorite hero or heroine, Austen has created such unforgetable charecters in all her books.  I love all of her heros and heroines.  Heros that really stand out to me though would be Mr. Knightely from Emma, Colonel Brandon from Sense and Sensibility, and Henry Tilney from Northanger Abbey.   I think Jane Austen created her heros and heroines to complement each other, which I think is done perfectly in the examples of these three men.  Mr. Knightely's wisdom is just what Emma Woodhouse needed to curb her domineering and impulsive ways. Colonel Brandon's age and experience is just what Marianne Dashwood needed to complement her youth and inexperience.  Henry Tilney's discernment is exactly what naive Catherine Morland needed to guide her.  My ideal husband would be some combination of those three men, especially Mr. Knightley.  My favorite heroines are Elizabeth Bennett from Pride and Prejudice, Anne Elliot from Persuasion, Elinor Dashwood from Sense and Sensibility, and Fanny Price from Mansfield Park.  A combination of those women is what I would so want to be.  I want Elizabeth Bennett's wit, but not prejudiceness, Anne Elliot's patience and kindness, Elinor Dashwood's forebarance and patience, and Fanny Price's sweetness and kindness.
       There are a million and one favorite lines from Austen I have.  My family and I quote them incessently.  A lot of them happen to be from Pride and Prejudice, which is probably because we watch and read that one the most.  Let me note here that we watch the five hour BBC Pride and Prejudice  and would NEVER watch the newer two hour version because it makes a romance story out of it and you just CAN'T cram that long of a book into two hours and make a good movie.  One of my brother's favorite lines from Pride and Prejudice is when Elizabeth Bennett says, "I am happier even then Jane; She only only smiles, I laugh."  A favorite quote for my mother is when Mr. Bennett (Pride and Preujdice again) says, "I am going into my study and I'm not to be disturbed."  Wonder why that would be her favorite line. :)  My favorite quote from Jane Austen's novels is the opening line from Pride and Prejudice, "It is a truth universally acknowledged that a single man in a possesion of a large fortune must be in want of a wife."  Classic, enough said. 
       So that is why I love Jane Austen's novels.  Why do you?

Lois Johnson, avid writer, tea drinker, and reader but first and foremost, avid Christian.

1 comment:

  1. I love your point about Colonel Brandon's character balancing Marianne's youth. :-)


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