Explore BrainMass

In order to understand Jane Austen's sense of humor, it is helpful to examine her youthful writings to see how that characteristically witty sense of humor developed.

Jane Austen's is known for her delightful irony and sense of humor; how exactly that humor operates and is constructed can be difficult to discern, since her touch as an author is so delicate and skillful. An examination of her youthful writings called her "Juvenilia" is helpful in pointing out the direction that her sense of humor would take in her later novels.

Solution Preview

Jane Austen is known for the keen wit and sense of humor which is present in all of her novels. In order to understand how Austen's sense of humor works, it is helpful to look at how it developed by examining those pieces which the author composed as a young girl, collectively called the "Juvenilia." (The youthful writings of an author are sometimes referred to by the term 'juvenilia.'
In these delightful sketches, we find the roots of Austen's humor. In the very structure of the pieces - they are often in the form of miniature plays and novels - we begin to see the author's humor at work. For example, "The Beautiful Cassandra, A Novel in Twelve Chapters" takes up less than three pages! Austen delights in inflating trivialities into something much grander than they are in actual ...