Jane Austen's Stylistic Writing in Emma

Emma final commentary Jane Austen’s writing style includes short and sweet sentences however they are packed with a lot of information, including metaphors and motifs. Personally, I found it hard to follow Austen’s writing because in order to understand her subtle messages in between the lines, one would have to be super alert and read every word and the connotation that of every word. Also, one writing tool that Austen uses well is free-indirect discourse.

Free indirect discourse is when the author writes in a narrative point of view but also writes in the point of view of another character. It is hard to tell when Austen in her novel, Emma, is writing in the narrator’s point of view or Emma’s. This creates a sense of ambiguity in her novel, which allows Austen’s writing to become almost ironic. She often describes things from Emma’s point of view but by using free-indirect discourse is able to be ironic of Emma’s views and criticize them.A positive quality that Austen’s writing has is her use of dashes. When a character gets worked up or agitated, instead of portraying their thoughts in her writing, Austen uses dashes to show their anxieties. She also uses dashes when writing Miss Bates’ dialogue.

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According to Emma, Miss Bates is a talkative woman who never seems to have a filter and Austen again uses dashes instead of speaking from her point of view, to portray the chaos of her thoughts.To summarize, my personal view on Jane Austen’s writing style in her novel, Emma, is that it is hard to comprehend at times. In order to understand the connotation of Austen’s writing one must understand the purpose of every word that makes up a sentence and then make a conclusion from there. It is hard to know when Austen is commenting on something through the narrator’s point of view or from Emma’s point of view. Lastly, a helpful feature used in Austen’s writing is her use of dashes to further illustrate a character’s emotions without going into their thoughts.

Author: Steven Schmidt


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