Is Jane Austen Art?

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Is Jane Austen Art? According to Leo Tolstoy “Art begins when one person, with the object of joining another or others to himself in one and the same feeling, expresses that feeling by certain external indications (Tolstoy, #16).” The novel Persuasion by author Jane Austen is art by Tolstoy’s definition. Austen clearly expresses the feelings she wished to, through her characters, to her receivers such as love, pride and guilt. Austen communicates concepts of morality vicariously through her characters who serve as models for the following moral concepts, such as love, friendship and selflessness. Austen incorporated various degrees of three conditions: individuality, clearness, and sincerity in her works that makes Tolstoy’s premise plausible. To summarize Persuasion, Anne Eliot, on the advice of her friends and family, declined the marriage proposal of a naval captain named Wentworth eight and a half years prior to the start of the story. Wentworth was not thought of as noble prospect for the daughter of a baronet by Anne’s friends and family. In search for a wife, Captain Wentworth returns home only this time he would be consider a noble prospect for Anne to marry due to the fact that he is rich from prizes taken in the war. Even though the captain shows disdain and is cold to Anne from the moment he returns, she still loves him. Anne chooses to be prideful to the captains’ aloofness by choosing to ignore his glances. Anne is staying with the captain’s friend and her brother in law Charles Musgrove, while there she helps her idle sister cope with her family issues. Captain Wentworth begins to become attracted to Anne once again after pitying the spinster sister; he falls for her caring and practical nature. However, overti... ... middle of paper ... ...vious in the sincerity of her work. The reader is able to feel exactly what Austen wished for her readers to feel because she was sincere in the way in which she expressed it. Persuasion by Jane Austen is art by Tolstoy’s definition. Austen transmits the feelings of pride, guilt, and love to her receiver through the actions and conversation carried on by her characters. Not only is Anne a model of moral concepts but she is a model to young women. Austen proves that art should be moral by having Anne be the main character as opposed to her sisters or another one of the young female characters in the novel. Austen does a brilliant job of making the feeling that she wanted to transmit clear and sincere and individual to her readers. In regards to Tolstoy not only would he define Persuasion as art, but he would define it as great art for meeting these criteria.
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