By A. Tauchert
We rejoice Jane Austen because the mom of the English realist novel, yet have you puzzled why she insists on giving her mature heroines the 'perfect happiness' which can in simple terms be learned within the romance? Romancing Jane Austen asks the reader to think about Austen's chuffed endings as a 'prophetic' instead of basically 'illusory' resolution to the contradiction that female subjectivity represents for heritage. a cheerful finishing for the female topic? yet that may be opposed to all of the empirical odds...
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Additional info for Romancing Jane Austen: Narrative, Realism, and the Possibility of a Happy Ending
Margaret Homans, Bearing the Word: Language and Female Experience in Nineteenth-century Women Writing106 Laura Mooneyham White makes a strong claim that the ‘persistence’ of the marriage plot, particularly ‘in popular culture’ and in the context of ‘our culture’s well-founded suspicions of marriage’, is ‘very odd indeed’. 107 White notes, however, that there is an unresolved problem with thinking of marriage as central to narrative completion: ‘How could one suggest 27 A. ’108 This is only the case when we forget the necessary conditions of our own birth.
The abiding desire for a ‘Mr Darcy’ seems to evidence both Austen’s own neo-conservative dream of being somehow rescued from the ‘real’ contradictions structuring women’s lives under capitalism, and the persistence of this day-dream in the reading and viewing tastes of her contemporary mass audience. If the heterosexual-romance narrative is only an illusory consolation for real social contradictions, the feminine desire represented in Austen’s romantic novels is only the appendix of a redundant ‘wish-fulfilment’, once feminine will has been eradicated from the historical narrative.
English realism makes its ‘passage to the surface’ in the eighteenth century, and becomes dominant in the nineteenth century; parallel to the consolidation of the industrial-capitalist mode in the West. 147 Catherine’s understanding of the events which meet her in Bath and at Northanger Abbey, and – more precisely – the narratively staged oscillation between her ‘romantic’ misperceptions and Henry’s realist demystifications, are finally rooted in a fundamental disjunction between metaphoric and metonymic ways of knowing.