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Jane Austen Essay Sample

Jane Austen was born in village of Steventon, Hampshire. She was the second daughter and the seventh child out of eight children in the family. She was very close to her only sister who was two years older - Cassandra who never got married. Jane and Cassandra were extremely close, they were inseparable. Jane was schooled in Oxford by a tutor.  Jane Austen’s father had always been encouraging love of learning in his lovely children since their childhood. Jane lived not in impoverished family, but still the family was quite modest. In order to save the room in the crowded house each of the Austen children had to live from 3 months old to 2 years with the neighbor woman, even though parents visited daily. Her brothers became admirals, so family moved to live in Bath. When typhoid fever broke out, family moved to Steventon, when Jane was 10 it was the second time she went to boarding school. A year later, both girls had to come back home as it was hard to find money for both girls’ education. Since 11 years of age Jane was educating herself with books from the library of her father. Jane was inspired to write because of the live, family affectionate environment which provided her with stimulated context for her stories. Her writings experience and imagination were far away from Steventon. 

Jane’s carrier as a writer started with short stories, poems and satires. When Jane Austen was just twelve years old she was under the influence of her sophisticated grown up cousin Eliza de Feuillide, to whom Jane dedicated “Love and Friendship” which was finished 2 years later. After finished “Love and Friendship”, in the age of 14, Jane made conscious decision to write for profit so she could be a professional writer. “Love and Friendship” is a parody of a romantic fiction and it is organized as series of the love letters. By using that, Jane Austen unveiled her wit and the dislike regarding sensibility or the romantic hysteria ("Jane Austen" 2016).

“Love and Friendship” was written only for pleasure of her family and friends, during her adolescence times. The series of letter are written from Laura to a much younger Marianne who is the daughter of Laura’s friend – Isabel. The letters are meant to apprise young Marianne about the possible dangers of the infatuation and falling in love. Jane Austen asks to “run mad as often as you choose, but do not faint!” (14th letter of “Love and Friendship”, 1790). It is obvious that Jane Austen got inspiration for character from her personal life as if she was Marianne and her cousin Eliza – Laura. 

As it has already been mentioned, Jane Austen was just 14 years old when “Love and Friendship” was finished. While the adult Jane used to be more sophisticated in her writing and used wit and irony to achieve her satire, the young Jane used exaggeration and parody. Youthfulness and childish sense of humor are demonstrated in the letters. Example of using these tools in writing can be seen in the 6th letter: "Where, Edward in the name of wonder (said he) did you pick up this unmeaning gibberish? You have been studying Novels I suspect (Austen, 1790).

Young Jane had a satirical view of love and friendship at that time, as she never experienced it but heard stories from her cousin. Having that in mind, Jane Austen makes themes of love and friendship oversimplified and quite stereotypical. Austen represents her ideas by of oversimplified love by marrying Laura and Edward – the love at first sight.

During Jane Austen’s teenage years, the cult of the sensibility was at its highest point, in which emotions were irresistible and so overpowering; also the plots were far-fetched and convoluted. Jane’s “sensibility” was more of sensitivity for her and her stories; the scenes of fainting, raving heroines were hard to escape. Example of sensibility era’s influence on young Jane presented in the “Love and Friendship”, 10th letter: This was too cruel, too unexpected a Blow to our Gentle Sensibility—we could not support it—we could only faint (Austen, 1790). 

    Jane Austen was a great author. Her writings are fun and inspiring, full of love and drama. While writing this essay I have deepened my knowledge about Austen’s childhood year and family. Family and Friends was the main influence on her at that time. Her childhood was full of family memories, care, love and other values. She was quite young when she started writing and the era of sensibility was forcing her write in that manner. Jane Austen due to her childishness and young age was capable of interpreting her own visions on different values like love and friendship, and mixed it with satire, humor and exaggeration. The note of dedicating the work to her cousin is also very fun and childish. Especially I find quite delightful the phrase Jane wrote – “Deceived in Freindship and Betrayed in Love”, because of its exaggeration note. In addition, Austen wrote “freind” through entire piece.

Works Cited

Austen, Jane. 1790. "Love And Friendship". https://www.gutenberg.org/files/1212/1212-h/1212-h.htm.

"Jane Austen". 2016. Biography.Com. http://www.biography.com/people/jane-austen-9192819.