Constructing a Novel: Jane Austen’s Literary Technique from a Creative Writing Perspective

Student Author(s)

Kara Roberts

Faculty Mentor(s)

Dr. Peter Schakel; Dr. William Reynolds

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Event Date



Jane Austen wrote six novels during the late 18th and early 19th century. As this was a time before creative writing programs existed, how did authors such as Austen learn to execute various literary elements? Which novels did Austen turn to for inspiration? Which authors influenced her writing style? Specifically, how did Austen handle characterization in her writing? Like most good works of fiction, not all of Austen’s characters change during the course of the novels—some are static while others are dynamic. This paper examines the different methods by which Austen shapes the various characters in her novels. It also addresses the question of how the static characters function to balance and incite the protagonists, as well as how Austen depicts the development of some of her most dynamic characters.

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