Austen's Writing Style In Sense And Sensibility

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Jane Austen is considered to be one of the world’s greatest novelists. Her earliest novel, Sense and Sensibility, is the story of two sisters who must grow in opposite ways. Austen’s distinct style is evident throughout the novel. Austen creates a world that is indirect but realistic. The reader must grow accustomed to this way of writing, but once he does, he will find the novel relatable. Jane Austen’s sentences are long and indirect. These characteristics are the result of Austen’s frequent use of subordinate clauses. In a sentence describing Edward, Elinor says, “Because he believes many people pretend to more admiration of the beauties of nature than they really feel, and is disgusted with such pretensions, he affects greater indifference and less discrimination in viewing them himself than he possesses” (Austen 71). In this sample sentence two dependent clauses appear before the independent clause. This creates not only lengthy sentences but also possible confusion for the reader. This layering of subordinate clauses threatens to overwhelm the reader. The reader must concentrate in order to decipher a passage’s meaning, as it is not immediately evident. Austen’s sentences do not directly state what she is trying to convey. The reader is given information that is not entirely clear until he reads the independent clause; this creates a problem as Austen’s sentences are often longer than the one provided. Another area of confusion lies in Austen’s formal diction and advanced vocabulary. Like her characters Austen was raised in an upper middle class family. She used a more proper manner of speaking, and therefore writing, than the majority of those living in her time. Austen’s word choice has become more difficult to understand with the passage of two hundred years. Austen uses words that have fallen out of fashion coupled with a

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