John Mullan on Why We Need PlotJohn Mullan, author of the book What Matters in Jane Austen?, has written an article for The Guardian talking about how many of the modern novels and media which are currently being released lack a real sense of plot. In the course of his argument he picks out Emma as an example of a novel which uses plot incredibly effectively.
In other densely plotted novels there is usually a character who has been chosen to enact the reader’s curiosity. A brilliant exploration of this curiosity is Jane Austen's Emma, whose heroine is convinced that she can decode the true desires and motivations of those around her. Emma has a plot in a way that other Austen novels do not, because, beneath the surface of what Emma herself can observe, there is a hidden story.As John Mullan points out, Jane was not only excellent at picking out the finer details of a person's character, but she was also brilliant at writing a good plot too. No wonder we still love her.
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