In addition to the romantic model, Austin’s other exemplary significance lies in the so-called ” seeing big from small”. However, in general, we only pay attention to her small size and seldom pay attention to what the big size she established. The most important meaning that everyone talks about is nothing more than the so-called independence of women.
The rich are still rich in Austen’s novels, but Cinderella is not so self – abased. Cinderella does not passively wait for others to find her and let her try on any pair of shoes. Cinderella says that you can buy me as many sizes as my feet can fit. Therefore, in Austen’s novels, women do not completely adapt to the conditions for men to choose their wives. Women begin to have some space. Although these spaces are not very large, there are some spaces that can be said no, such as a marriage without love, I want to say no, a marriage with love but very poor, and I also want to say no. Everyone, including parents, thinks it is a very reasonable and cost-effective marriage, but I can say I don’t want to marry because I don’t think it is compatible with that man. It is generally believed that Austen has made great progress in writing this article at the end of the 18th century and the beginning of the 19th century.
When I was young, I liked Austin because I recognized her pursuit of this sense of dignity in love. Don’t sell love for five metric tons, but what about ten metric tons? When we read novels, we often read them in vain. Isn’t it important to talk about data today? Let me ask you a question. How rich do you think Darcy is? If you don’t know how rich Darcy is, you can’t imagine what Elizabeth lost when she refused. Let me check the information. Darcy’s annual income translates to 990,000 pounds today. Bentley’s annual income is about half of his. Their cousin is basically a fraction. Today, romance’s most enduring theme is that domineering presidents love me, especially sweet favourites. It doesn’t matter that rich rich singles love you more than you do. What matters is that rich singles love you more than you love him. This fairy tale is really amazing.
When I was young, when I read Qiong Yao’s novels, I knew that the people in Kaiping and the people in first class in Yi Shu’s novels were domineering presidents. But now the bossy president does not have an Aston Martin one-77 when he enters the stage, nor does he have a private plane to take his lover on vacation, so he is embarrassed to be No. 1 male. Therefore, with the development of the times, the overbearing president is also rising. Today, Darcy may not be the richest man, but at that time, he was really great. Such a look at Elizabeth’s refusal is more worthy of respect than our refusal of a scholar title like mountains, rivers, lakes and seas today.
However, why Cinderella was passive before and has room to say no today has something to do with the structural changes in British society. When you say I don’t want to marry, I want to say no, I want to resist the original completely chosen position, then you need to have a space of your own. If you refuse others, who will take you in? In that Austin era, including Jane Eyre’s era, Britain was still the eldest son inheritance system, and all titles and property inherited by a family were left to the eldest son. What about that son? It is to marry a child from a rich family. The second son has a birth certificate. I was born in the male family of the male Hou Bozi, but I have no property. I only have this title. Then I have to do a business, sell the second son and marry a daughter who is rich but does not have a noble title. Both of them can maintain their own dignity when they combine.
The most important thing in the story of Jane Eyre is that Rochester is the second son and he cannot inherit his father’s property. After his brother inherited the property, his brother and father sent him to Jamaica, saying that if you marry the daughter of a rich local man, you will have an income of tens of thousands of pounds a year, and then you can leave her in the colony and come back. You can still live a dandy life in England, but the money comes from your wife’s family. What’s the advantage of her marriage to you? Their family is not inferior colonists, but has some connection with the British empire, everyone needs. The second son can’t inherit the heritage, let alone the daughters. We always say that the three principles and four virtues are the dross of Chinese culture. In fact, western culture is also very dross. As far as the male power structure is concerned, the world is generally black. No matter how prominent a family girl you are, if you can’t marry yourself while your father is alive, then you basically have no way to maintain your childhood living conditions, because the eldest son inherits, you have to rely on the elder brother and younger brother, the eldest son, to take in and feed you. If you become a leftover woman and stay at home, you will become a burden to the whole family.
And Jane Austen herself is such a leftover woman. Many of Austin’s biographies and movies today, including novels, have talked about this point. She once had a deep-rooted feeling, but it was impossible for her to reach the end. In the end, she has never married herself, and her younger brother raised her, but she is not in the predicament of ordinary leftover women in her younger brother’s family. Apart from the good family of her younger brother, it is also because their family is not noble, but a professional class. Austen herself has entered this class because of her writing.
The so-called professional class is to rely on a profession to support themselves, such as lawyers, bankers, priests, soldiers … Women can also be nurses and tutors. What is the problem with the professional class in the eyes of the old aristocracy? He is not guaranteed by drought and flood. What is an old aristocrat? The old aristocracy is that I have nothing to worry about when I sit here. I have hereditary privileges. However, in Austin’s era, the old aristocracy was declining, and many new aristocrats emerged from the new professional class. They were rich but insecure. Therefore, the new and old marriages became the trend, and there were so many stories describing ” common” women marrying into rich and powerful families. However, we should also pay attention to civilians, not the poor. However, why these new professional classes began to appear in Austen’s novels is because Austen lived in the era of the industrial revolution, or in the era when the industrial revolution was budding, because the word industrialization only existed in 1820, Austen died in 1817, but industrialization and the division of labor it brought about had already appeared in the era of her life.
In addition, with industrialization, social division of labor and the rise of the citizen class, the cultural industry has also begun to flourish. What is the working class doing after work? There was a thing called a library. At that time there was no cinema, but there was a library. There is another thing called park. what are you doing in the park? Go to the park and listen to some people’s speeches just like we do. What else are we doing there to exchange ideas? As of today, you have also seen in European movies that some elderly people have a newspaper standard in the park. Because in Europe, the emergence of newspapers is an important symbol of the flourishing of leisure culture. You know Defoe, author of Robinson Crusoe, was born in a newspaper. Reading clubs, private libraries, circulation libraries, these public cultural spaces are very important, especially for women who are in poor families.
Many European and American scholars have studied the reading problems in Austen and Bronte sisters’ works and the history of female reading and library development in the 18th century. With Austin’s financial resources, it is impossible to have a very complete private library, but because small private libraries and circulation libraries were already very common in Britain at that time, Austin, as a girl who did not go to any formal school, had read dozens of English literary masterpieces and many contemporary novels before she entered literary writing. When she started writing, she knew very well what kind of English novel tradition she was facing, what she was writing and what she was challenging. Therefore, Austen often jokes about previous novels in her novels. She reads too much and she despises them.
We can observe how many chapters in Austin’s six novels are written in the library and whose library they are in. For example, ” mansfield manor”, Fanny especially likes reading books. She was adopted by Edmund’s family. Her parents are not worth mentioning in particular. Her mother married the wrong person and married the wrong person, so the whole family class will not be able to work. Fanny’s adoption is not a proper person of the same class. She is in the same position as Jane Eyre, not confident in culture, not confident in road, and a little humble, but the other ladies are confident in everything, so they often command and criticize Fanny, and let Fanny do what they are not willing to do. They rode horses, and Fanny could not ride either. They had to rehearse a play together and let Fanny play the particularly unimportant roles of Party A, Party B and Party C. But in the end, you found out who resolutely refused to stage the play. It was Fanny. Because Fanny questioned the play aesthetically and morally. All the people who took part in the show were aristocratic childe and young lady, so they thought you were worthy to talk about drama? They were not convinced until Fanny’s adoptive father, Edmund’s father, came back and said how the play could be performed, which was completely consistent with Fanny’s aesthetic and moral standards. So how did you say Fanny changed from a country girl to a literary interest more elite than a noble lady? How did she judge whether the play could be performed or not? It was based on her reading. The most important thing about coming to my aunt’s house is that she can read many books.
We often say that if you want to know someone, you should go and see what books they read. We also have many parents and friends from Maiqing’s study here today. Many children started reading in our study when they were young. What books a child reads from an early age can roughly tell what problems he will think and what kind of people he will become in the next 20 years. Today, many people are especially successful in many places, such as Yu Minhong, which represents the maturity of Chinese men’s knowledge, intelligence, interest and thoughts. But when many successful elite men said at the beginning that reading had nothing to do with making money, it was revealed that they did not read or they read the wrong books.
Yu Minhong said a while ago that the pursuit of Chinese women determines the civilization level of this country. I felt at that time that someone finally saw this point. I always thought that we women have this responsibility. I am glad that someone has finally discovered this point. We must work harder and speed up the rescue of mankind. But then I found out that he didn’t mean what I thought. I was very desperate. My last attachment to my alma mater was destroyed by him. I think he may not have read the right book after graduating from Peking University. The books we read form your knowledge pedigree, your knowledge pedigree forms your three views, and your three views determine your choice. This is a very important process of cultural construction.
When I came back, I said that people used to say that Austin saw big things from small things. They always did not know what big things she saw. Many people criticized her for not writing about the industrial revolution, the French revolution and the Napoleonic war when she lived in Austin. Look at how great Dickens, younger than her, is. Many novels keep pace with the times. However, among the short stories in Austin’s novels today, I didn’t see any relation between it and Britain, let alone the relation between the British empire I said. then I think we read too roughly, or we always read the classics of many novels into melodrama today. we are always especially willing to follow the plot to read novels, Happy Ending or Bad Ending.
But I tell you, literature never cares about the ending, only melodrama cares about the ending. Because only melodrama has to end the plot. Great novels have no ending. Life goes on, literature goes on, mankind does not perish, and literature goes on forever. I just mentioned the details, you can go back to re-read Austin, you will find Austin is not escape from the times, not confined to their boudoir, she is not like Dickens to write the siege, revolutionary struggle, she wrote is actually a broken window into a daily life everywhere traces of the era.