The novels of Jane Austen are much beloved by many people and for many good reasons. In the academic realm, her works offer interesting political commentary from a marginalized member of society; in the realm of pop culture, her works show us that love conquers all, even at a time when decorum and marrying for money was at its height. Her novels give us insight on what it means to be human, and how we relate to each other. Many a young woman has dreamed of her own Mr. Darcy, and has had to put off the overwhelming affection of a Mr. Elton. Or at least, that is what we imagine we gleam from Austen’s novels. As was the literary convention at the time, all of Austen’s major works end in marriage. The deserving man gets the heroine, saving the admirable woman from complete ruin. But just how happy are these “happy endings”? Austen uses the complex social narratives in her books to explore the notions of love and marriage. Some notions are contemporary with other literature of the Regency period, while others aren’t. In this essay, I will be exploring how love and affection is played out between family and sweethearts, who can marry for love, and when these sentiments are (or aren’t) appropriately expressed.
About the Author
Jamie is a writer, teacher and counselor based in Washington. Her undergraduate work in English Literature made extensive focus on Jane Austen and the writings of the Long Victorian era, including Romantic and Gothic literary movements. Having lived out her own Austenian love story, she currently resides with her partner and cats in Puyallup.