• Diana Mikeladze


Jane Austen's distinctive literary style relies on a combination of parody, burlesque, irony, free indirect speech, and a degree of realism. She uses parody and burlesque for comic effect and to critique the portrayal of women in 18th-century sentimental and gothic novels. Austen extends her critique by highlighting social hypocrisy through irony; she often creates an ironic tone through free indirect speech in which the thoughts and words of the characters mix with the voice of the narrator. The degree to which critics believe Austen's characters have psychological depth informs their views regarding her realism. While some scholars argue that Austen falls into a tradition of realism because of her finely executed portrayal of individual characters and her emphasis on "the everyday", others contend that her characters lack a depth of feeling compared with earlier works, and that this, combined with Austen's polemical tone, places her outside the realist tradition.
Austen's novels have often been characterized as "country house novels" or as "comedies of manners", however they also include fairy tale elements. Compared to other early 19th-century novels, Austen's have little narrative or scenic description—they contain much more dialogue. Austen shapes a distinctive and subtly-constructed voice for each character.