• Jane Austen free indirect style, gender and interiority in literary fiction

      MacMahon, Barbara; University of Derby (Palgrave Macmillan, 2018-05-21)
      In this chapter I suggest that Jane Austen’s use of free indirect style has a far-reaching legacy in terms of establishing the form as central to a sense of literariness in prose fiction. More particularly, I argue that Austen’s use of language metarepresents the thoughts of female characters as a dynamic process of understanding themselves and their worlds. This coincides with a more general perception, construction and performance of ‘feminine’ thought and language use as hesitant, equivocal and spontaneous. I explore the influence of Austen’s style with close analysis and comparison of passages of interiority in Austen’s Mansfield Park, Katherine Mansfield’s short story ‘Millie’ and Monica Ali’s novel Brick Lane.