Jane Austen’s Legacy: 200 Years of Austen’s Novels, Characters and Happily Ever Afters
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What is it about Jane Austen’s novels that are still relevant today? Is it the characters or the love stories? Or is it the reminder of a simpler time that keeps modern audiences coming back for more? In my paper I interrogate the enduring legacy of Jane Austen and why modern audiences still read her novels today. Austen’s wit and analysis of human character has lasted for over two hundred years and have made her novels last. Her characters have been used for countless adaptions all over the world. Austen’s characters are also among the most prolific in literature. Austen also does not shy away from hard subjects, like elopement, which would have been taboo for her time period. In my paper, I compare adaptions of Pride and Prejudice, Emma, and Persuasion across mediums including films, blogs, and mini-series. I conclude that the je ne sais quoi around Austen is that even after two hundred years, modern audiences still watch adaptions of her novels and authors and movie producers still make adaptions of her novels that are reflective of their eras.