Have you ever heard the name, Jane Austen? Do you know who she was, or why she is still talked about hundreds of years after her passing?
Well, Jane Austen was and still is, known for many talents and achievements. She was a brilliant writer who produced six major novels during her short life, and she was an advocate for women’s independence during the 18th century, putting her far ahead of her time considering that women’s rights were not a thing during that time period.
Along with her timeless presence, Jane Austen’s novels bring 6 thought-provoking topics to light that are still used today for school exams, and everyday life. So let’s take a dive into the literature to look at some lessons we can take from her work.
Mistakes Are Made For Learning From
Everyone at some point in their lives, has made a mistake. From little mishaps that you could easily laugh off, to big mistakes that shook your world – either way, a mistake can and should be viewed as a lesson.
Jane Austen was certain of this, as she demonstrated through Pride and Prejudice with Elizabeth and Darcy’s relationship. Elizabeth experienced public heartbreak, which ultimately led her to push Darcy away through her pain. In the book, we are shown that Elizabeth has to learn from her mistake of judging Darcy too quickly or else she will lose him completely.
Marry For Love, Not Social Status
There are thousands of lessons in literature that can be applied to life in the 20th century. And throughout all six of Jane Austen’s books, she regularly emphasises marrying out of love and not social status. This was unusual as, during the early 18th century, it was expected for young women to marry and the goal for a high majority of families was to marry their daughters into rich families to improve their social status.
Marrying for love was the main theme in Sense and Sensibility, as Jane Austen wanted to teach women that love can help them grow as opposed to the immediate response from marrying upwards in status.
Pay Attention To The Little Things
It can be easy to go through your day without listening to or watching what goes on around you. However, Jane Austen repeatedly shows that you must pay attention to the small things in order to be in the moment and experience everything you can.
In the novel Emma, the reader learns to pay attention to the little things in life, such as the friendships around you, conversations and compliments. Being present is how we experience the important things after all.
Learn To Think For Yourself
Being honest with yourself allows you the opportunity to accept your flaws and weaknesses. Ultimately this can lead you to have a strong mindset and the ability to ignore others’ judgement as you believe in your own opinions and values.
Anne Elliot in Jane Austen’s book Persuasion learns this the hard way. If she had listened to herself instead of her friend, Lady Russel, then she never would have suffered years of heartache after breaking off her engagement.
If you’re still unsure how inspirational Austen is, to put it into perspective, For Pride and Prejudice alone sold over 20 million copies across the globe. That’s a whopping amount of sales over the years!
When you look far and wide, you will come across many lessons in literature. From taking your mistakes and turning them into personal lessons, to learning to think for yourself, teachings from Jane Austen will have you looking out for yourself in no time. So go and grab a copy today!