As a faithful reader, you might have wondered many times why Jane Austen utilized letters so frequently in her novels. Perhaps, a practical reason could that a letter was a key form of communication in the epoch when travel was expensive and slow enough, so people had to spent a great deal of time apart. Of course, people of that time didn’t have an opportunity to take advantage of up-to-date communication options such as email, phone, Skype and so on. Respectively, plain paper letters were the only effective means of communication at that time.
In Austen's Emma letters certainly inform us of the person writing them. For instance, Captain Wentworth’s letter to Anne is considered to be Austen’s best love letter.
Emma is very surprised by the overall quality of Robert Martin’s letter of proposal. The given letter had almost not grammar errors, but as a composition it wouldn’t have disgraced a gentleman. Indeed, his language, although quite plain, appeared to be strong enough. The letter was concise, but it expressed warm attachment, good sense, propriety, liberality, not to mention the overall delicacy of feeling.
She suggests that one of her sisters might have helped to write this stuff. By the way, Henry Tinley’s comments suggest that the talent of writing agreeable letters is solely female.
Apart from that, characters’ responses to letters also tell us a lot about their character. For instance, in Northanger Abbey we’ve learnt about Catherine as well as her growth to maturity. We’ve learnt it from her reactions to letters from her brother and Isabella. Eleanor’s request to Catherine for a concise letter advising her safe return home after being ejected from the Abbey fully conveys Eleanor’s sense of propriety as well as compassion. Emma’s self-absorption is clearly conveyed via her reaction to letters. Emma concentrates on whether she’s mentioned in them or on their relevance to her personality.
In Pride and prejudice, Mr. Bennet’s as well as Elizabeth’s reactions to Mr. Collins’ first letter, inform us about their shared values and also sense of humor.
Forming bridges between characters is what letters do, thus propelling the novel’s plot. Typical examples include Captain Wentworth’s declaration of love to Anne Elliot as well as Darcy’s letter of explanation to Elizabeth after his rejected proposal.
Letters play rather an innocuous role in setting events in motion. For instance, it’s see in Caroline Bingley’s invitation to Jane Bennet.
As a faithful reader, you might have wondered many times why Jane Austen utilized letters so frequently in her novels. Perhaps, a practical reason could that a letter was a key form of communication in the epoch when travel was expensive and slow enough, so people had to spent a great deal of time apart.