Genius, Prickly, and Kind

Margaret H. - Toronto. ON

Posted by Emily Christ on August 24, 2022 · 1 min read

My impression of Jane Austen is a woman who was smart enough to understand her position in the world was not fair. She understood that though marriage was the main goal of women of her class to secure wealth and comfort she did not want that life bet ultimately the sacrifice of personal freedom and risk to life was not worth it. I think her novels all show a subversive rejection of marriage. Even though they all have ostensibly happy endings with marriage for all the heroines, her juvenilia shows a different perspective. Of you look below the surface of the novels you see none of the heroes are all that great. They are all flawed. Ex: Edmund only chooses Fanny after he can’t have his first choice Mary. Edward Ferrars is an absolute mess of a person getting engaged and hiding it. Colonel Brandon is an old man, trying to recreate his first love in a seventeen y/o Marianne. She accepts him as second best after Willoughby breaks her heart. Her disdain for marriage is even more obvious in the secondary characters: Mariah and Mr. Rushworth, Mr. Collins and Charlotte, even Jane Fairfax and Frank Churchill. He clearly does not deserve her. Jane Austen is the type of genius that you keep discovering over and over with each reread and each new analysis. My absolute favourite author.