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Monday, August 19, 2013

Austen/Montaigne Essay

       David Foster Wallace's quote in his story "Good Old Neon," shows how similar his thought process is to Montaigne's. It is often stated throughout Montaigne's essays that he doesn't put full trust into his words because as Wallace states, "what goes on inside is just to fast and huge and all interconnected for words."  Both Montaigne and Wallace philosophize about unanswered questions and do their best to get their thoughts on paper.  They have similar styles in that they both write about what they observe and what goes on in their mind.  Comparing Montaigne's style of getting thoughts on paper is vastly different from Jane Austen's style in Pride and Prejudice. Jane Austen provides a fictional example of life during the early eighteen hundreds, while Montaigne reflects on thoughts and ideas through his essays written around one hundred BC.

       Montaigne's writing supports Wallace's notion in that it is difficult to put thoughts to words because words have no real emotions.  Montaigne describes his perception of occurrences around him through a series of unorganized essays and examples.  This style of writing varies greatly from Jane Austen's.  Austen's Pride and Prejudice focusses on life during a specific time period while also showing her views and opinions on that period through the characters reactions.  In a way, the manner in which Austen portrays the characters in her book shows how her view on early eighteen hundreds society is similiar to the way Montaigne views his society.  Although, the different styles that the texts are written in make them difficlut to compare.  Other than Austen and Montaigne both portraying their thoughts and beliefs about society through their texts, there aren't many other similarities between the two pieces of literature.

       Montaigne's deep philosophical understandings and opinions about the world around him are very different from Austen's novel depicting the life of  a middle class family in the early eighteen hundreds.  Austen's portrayal of life during this period is very small in comparison to the deep thought process and writing of David Foster Wallace and Michel Montaigne.

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