Balance and Disharmony

  • Joe Bray
Part of the Language, Style and Literature book series (LSL)


Bray focuses in this chapter on the critical perception that, heavily influenced by her eighteenth-century predecessors, Jane Austen’s style is effortlessly harmonious. Although many of her sentences do display a balance on the model of Dr. Johnson’s, a looser, less regulated style emerges at times, especially when the narrator intervenes in the first person towards the end of novels in order to justify potentially implausible plot developments. Concentrating especially on such moments in Northanger Abbey, Mansfield Park and Sense and Sensibility, Bray argues that this less balanced style reflects the influence of speech, and that these interventions often contain traces of previous conversations.

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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Joe Bray
    • 1
  1. 1.School of EnglishUniversity of SheffieldSheffieldUK

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