I agree and disagree!
Posted by MB on February 13, 1998 at 12:43:39:
In response to Jane Austen's use of Symbolism, written by Mark on February 12, 1998 at 17:28:47
Couldn't figure out how to fit my comments into yours, dearie, so I just snipped the whole thing! ;-)
I disagree that JA never uses symbolism intentionally. I don't have any definite proof, mind you, but a writer as careful as she leaves little to accident and chance, IMO.
I've used this example before, but, well, here it is again. Elizabeth and Darcy seem to meet "by chance" at Pemberley. But the travellers are prevented by Mr. Gardiner's business from venturing farther than Derbyshire and Mr. Darcy returns a day early due to business with his steward. This probably isn't the strongest evidence of symbolism, but it's the one that came to mind! In a writer who plans so carefully, could symbolism be accidental? ;-)
However, I agree that the symbolism is intrinsic, arises "naturally" out of character and situation rather than descriptive passages of the Bronte variety. Which almost makes her an ideal dramatist/director! All of the action is motivated; there is a reason for everything.
Which, to me, makes JA all the greater as a writer!
(arguing for pragmatism twice in one week!)
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