In Love and Friendship by Jane Austen, includes clichés and wit in her epistolary novella. Of these, the most standout is the ‘fairytale union’ young Austen includes. This coined union, in my opinion, is when the individual abhors their parent’s choice of partner and ends up finding love with someone of a different class. This is as cliché as love at first sight. But Austen makes a point of observing the nobility and bravery it takes to go against their parent’s wishes. She is the outsider looking in because her parents did not view her marriage with Edward negatively.
Austen is trying to convey to readers the reality of union and dependence on family, or rather the lack of independence, females and youths have during this time. This is ultimately about intimacy, in regard to love and friendship, but also arguably about one’s legacy. In this story, her love for Edward resulted in a friendship built on love with Sophie.
This novella is relevant to current views of an ideal ‘fairytale-like’ relationship. When thinking about Hallmark shows, the couple always meets in ironic situations whether she is a local baker and the businessman is a recurring customer, or they bump into each other walking on the sidewalk.
Edward decided to walk to his family member’s house on a snowy day. He knocks on Laura’s door, and the rest is history. Contrary to those movies, they skipped past the ‘dislike stage.’ We never know how Laura’s parents react to the news besides their agreement. However, they agree and before we know it, the couple leaves together.
The idealistic love and relationship, however, is cherished and propagandized. During this time, it was more common and expected for youths to marry young. Today, this fluctuates, yet is still idealized. This is more than a boy-meets-girl sequence in the story. While Hallmark movies have a happy or calming resolution, Laura does not think she received one.
Austen pokes fun of the tragedy of family and love. I feel like Austen did not want to put trust and hope in her character, but rather enjoy the wit and cliché of life.
The trouble with the debt is the cliché and needed drive of any issue in Hallmark movies for a realization and mindset adjustment to come about. In the novella, this inspired the women to head to Scotland. Their departure was significant during the time to signal women’s independence.
The letters written to Isabel’s daughter brings a warm and emotional response that Hallmark captivates. The point is not to sympathize with Laura but analyze her situation and what the reader would do in her place.
Overall, I believe this work provides merit in our contemporary society. The fictional romantic story is still, at heart, a guilty pleasure. There are still views because sometimes it is just a hopeful, fairytale ending that keeps one pushing. Maybe the apparent moments are dramatized, but in the end, the happy ending and love story occurs.
The real ‘point’ or purpose of Love and Friendship is to be in the moment of someone’s life. Readers only see the letters going to Marianna, but not her receiving any back. The readers are versions of Marianna, the naive individual reading about a distant family friend’s life. In an unlikely turn of events, everyone Laura held dear passed, but readers ‘lived’ with her as she composed her life through these letters. It became a piece of her life that readers used to fill theirs.