Jane Austen free indirect style, gender and interiority in literary fiction
AffiliationUniversity of Derby
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AbstractIn 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.
CitationMacMahon, B. (2018) 'Jane Austen, Free Indirect Style, Gender and Interiority in Literary Fiction'. In: Hopkins L. (eds) After Austen. Palgrave Macmillan, Cham, pp, 221-243.