Title

Critical Conversations about Jane Austen's Emma and Persuasion

Presenter Information

Jennifer Frankovic

Document Type

Oral Presentation

Location

SURC 137A

Start Date

17-5-2012

End Date

17-5-2012

Abstract

Austen scholars today do not argue whether Jane Austen is incorporating Romanticism in her novel Persuasion, but questions of how and why Austen uses romantic conventions are still much in debate. Furthermore, whether Austen seems to admire or to criticize the Romantics is also controversial. Though Jane Austen scholar Charles Rzepka argues that Austen’s focus on the utilitarian undermines any romantic ideals, it is important to realize that Persuasion is nevertheless rife with romantic imagery that cannot be ignored or treated as irrelevant; perhaps it is only the ideology of the Romantics that Austen is criticizing. Austen critic Sarah Wootton believes that Austen was influenced by Romanticism and purposefully incorporated elements of the Romantic that were useful for making her own narrative points. Ultimately, in my paper “‘Green Chasms between Romantic Rocks’: Exploring Romanticism in Jane Austen’s Persuasion,” I claim that a balanced analysis of Persuasion reveals that Austen appreciated many of the aesthetic conceptions of Romanticism, while she avoided the ideology of the Romantic and criticized the self-centered and isolationist ideas of Romanticism. I demonstrate that Austen’s appreciation of Romanticism did not lead to her allying herself with the Romantics of her time. The emotion and imagery that fill Persuasion clearly show a romantic influence on the novel, but Austen merges her own style with romantic conventions to critique both her society and the Romantic Movement, making it clear that though she admires the aesthetics of Romanticism, she herself is anti-romantic in purpose.

Faculty Mentor(s)

Christine Sutphin

Additional Mentoring Department

English

This document is currently not available here.

Share

COinS
 
May 17th, 9:30 AM May 17th, 9:50 AM

Critical Conversations about Jane Austen's Emma and Persuasion

SURC 137A

Austen scholars today do not argue whether Jane Austen is incorporating Romanticism in her novel Persuasion, but questions of how and why Austen uses romantic conventions are still much in debate. Furthermore, whether Austen seems to admire or to criticize the Romantics is also controversial. Though Jane Austen scholar Charles Rzepka argues that Austen’s focus on the utilitarian undermines any romantic ideals, it is important to realize that Persuasion is nevertheless rife with romantic imagery that cannot be ignored or treated as irrelevant; perhaps it is only the ideology of the Romantics that Austen is criticizing. Austen critic Sarah Wootton believes that Austen was influenced by Romanticism and purposefully incorporated elements of the Romantic that were useful for making her own narrative points. Ultimately, in my paper “‘Green Chasms between Romantic Rocks’: Exploring Romanticism in Jane Austen’s Persuasion,” I claim that a balanced analysis of Persuasion reveals that Austen appreciated many of the aesthetic conceptions of Romanticism, while she avoided the ideology of the Romantic and criticized the self-centered and isolationist ideas of Romanticism. I demonstrate that Austen’s appreciation of Romanticism did not lead to her allying herself with the Romantics of her time. The emotion and imagery that fill Persuasion clearly show a romantic influence on the novel, but Austen merges her own style with romantic conventions to critique both her society and the Romantic Movement, making it clear that though she admires the aesthetics of Romanticism, she herself is anti-romantic in purpose.