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Essay: Jane Austen and Herman Melville

Jane Austen
Jane Austen

Jane Austen and Herman Melville are two of the most iconic and influential writers in the history of literature. Both were born in the late 18th century and achieved widespread fame and success during their lifetimes. While they lived in different parts of the world and experienced different challenges and triumphs, there are several key similarities and differences in their lives and works that are worth exploring.

One major similarity between Austen and Melville is that both writers were deeply interested in exploring the human experience and the complexities of human relationships. Austen was known for her sharp and often witty novels, which explored themes of love, marriage, and social status. Melville, on the other hand, was known for his epic and often philosophical novels, which explored themes of identity, morality, and the human condition. Both writers used their works to delve into the depths of the human experience and to shed light on the inner workings of human relationships.

Another similarity between Austen and Melville is that both writers experienced significant hardships and challenges in their personal lives. Austen struggled with financial difficulties and social constraints as a woman writer in a male-dominated field, and she experienced a number of personal tragedies, including the death of several loved ones. Melville, meanwhile, struggled with financial difficulties and creative blocks throughout his career, and he experienced a number of personal and professional challenges, including the negative reception of his later works. Despite these challenges, both Austen and Melville remained dedicated to their craft and continued to produce some of their most celebrated works during difficult periods in their lives.

Herman Melville
Herman Melville

There are also several key differences in the lives of Austen and Melville. One major difference is that Austen was born and raised in England, while Melville was born and raised in the United States. This geographic difference had a significant impact on their writing, as they were exposed to different cultural influences and societal norms. Austen was also known for her novels and short stories, while Melville was primarily known for his novels. Additionally, Austen was known for her sharp and often satirical style, while Melville was known for his epic and philosophical approach to writing.

Overall, Jane Austen and Herman Melville were two of the most influential writers of their time, and their works continue to be widely read and studied today. Both writers used their talents to explore the human experience in all its complexity, and their contributions to