Jane Austen’s novels are called ‘novels of manners’. This means that the novelist observes and reports her characters’ behaviour, and we understand them largely by analysing this. Jane Austen does also report characters’ feelings, their thoughts and decisions; but the text is dominated by the formulated, conscious level of the mind: what characters think to themselves and how they reason their decisions, rather than the complex, self-contradictory impulses and sudden unexplained emotions we find in many modern novels.
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