Interview ; Jane Austen

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Jane Austen Interview

Interviewer: We have here with us today the one and only Jane Austen, author of Pride and Prejudice which has, to date, sold over 20 million copies. Welcome, Jane. Austen:Thank you, its great to be here.

Interviewer:For those who haven't read Pride and Prejudice, could you give us an overview of the story? Austen:Well, Pride and Prejudice is a novel centring a female protagonist, Elizabeth Bennet, forging her way through an established and rigid social hierarchy in the quest to find true love. Interviewer:So you mention a rigid social hierarchy, how do you feel your context has influenced the storyline of the novel? Austen:In Pride and Prejudice I chose to diverge from the assumptions and prejudices of upper class England during the Regency period and also the middle class aspiration for social advancement at the expense of happiness in marriage. Interviewer:I noticed you have satirised and challenged many social norms of the Regency period. Could you tell us how these have worked their way into the novel? Austen:By representing many marriages in an unflattering light, I have challenged the widely held value of marrying primarily for material comfort and mercenary motives, that is, accepting a suitor for prospective wealth and status. The introductory line of the novel “It is a truth universally acknowledged that a single man in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a wife” satirises the ambition of many women of the gentry class to marry a man of a wealthy fortune. I have used a hyperbole and absurd generalisation to challenge the mercenary motives of women in my contemporary society. This is also seen in Lydia's elopement which is seen as shocking and immoral “how little of permanent happiness could belong to a couple who were only brought together because their passions were stronger than their virtue.” The moralistic tone in Elizabeths internal monologue highlights that a marriage that is based merely on passions will be...
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