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Creative assignment number three for World Lit. Dun dun dunnn! So I chose to imitate Jane Austen's style of writing from her novel Northanger Abbey. Excerpt from Chapter 14 (p.s. I know it looks long, but I pinky promise that it isn't entirely deadbeat)

But why and how would I imitate 19th century Jane Austen with her lengthy periodic sentences, multiple phrases and clauses, and use of epithets, diegesis, etc.

Since Mark Stenberg first transferred into my world literature class, I have been fascinated with his perfectly coiffed hair. His hair did not move; it seemed to glow brighter than your typical blonde head of hair. These are the sort of things that teenage girls take notice of and soon enough, the large female population of “mo’ world lit” was discussing Mark’s hair, even reaching the conclusion that he probably spent more time on his hair than most of these ladies spent on their own. Thus, I chose to compare male and female ideals of grooming. Standing in front of a mirror primping is largely viewed as a feminine pastime and in Austen’s Northanger Abbey, this is the same view held in terms of novel reading.

After careful consideration, I lovingly chose Kelsey as my parallel to Mark since both share a similar hair color, but each wear entirely different hairstyles and take varied approaches to grooming.


Monday morning was fair, and Kelsey, not having slumbered through her mischievous and deceitful alarm, woke early. With her roommate’s help in waking her if the alarm should fail, Kelsey was sure to rise with enough time to prepare herself: she had nothing to fear this morning, she assured herself, for the mirrors were unoccupied, the showers were uninhabited, and the tools for self-beautification were untouched. She worked diligently to ready herself for when World Literature would begin at the appointed time; and no excessive hours of dreaming, no excuse of prior engagement, no unfortunate appearances would hamper my dear blonde colleague from attending midmorning discussion. Her swift gait carried her across campus, some forty acres, to Parlin Hall, that founder’s place, where rich conversation awaited that rendered Moore’s table as one frequented by elevated, well-groomed scholars known to everyone in Austin.

“I am glad,” said Kelsey upon entering the classroom, “to behold each and every one of your handsome faces this day.”

“You were quite absent from us on Friday. Were you abroad then?” asked Stenberg surprised, but clearly having noted her absence.

“Why I happened to mistakenly set my alarm for evening and thus dozed through class, missing an enlightening morning at the Harry Ransom Center upper rooms. However, even waking up five and ten minutes prior to class, I would have not been in such a state to attend. This is not a problem for you, I suppose?”

“Why ever not?”

“Because you do not seem to bother with your appearance, especially in a time of urgency—gentlemen employ their time better, devoting little time to the mirror.”

“The adult, let it be either gentleman or a lady, who chooses not to concern himself with his own grooming and health, is surely mistaken and devoid of knowledge of true beauty. Tis not vanity to preoccupy oneself with his or her own appearance, and I make sure to bestow all varieties of oil and gel upon my hair each morning. Readying myself, once having begun it, can take up to five and thirty minutes depending on the expected forecast, the quality of air that day, the day’s events, and the approximate amount of time spent in each location. For formal events, I begin priming myself particularly early; —I remember on one particular occasion devoting nearly two hours—the reward for my efforts being every hair standing perfectly on end for the whole night of festivities.”

“Yes,” added Dalton, “and I remember running into you in the lavatory, watching you apply each product to your hair, believing that you were nearly finished in front of the mirror, but actually learning that you had just begun your routine. I was thus obliged to leave and return at a later time to floss my teeth. The bathroom was thus occupied up until the very last minute; I was put at a slight disadvantage for getting ready myself; luckily though four minutes is often more than sufficient.”

“Thank you, Dalton,” Stenberg replied. “A most stereotypical testimony. Kelsey, though, I am sure you can gather from my account the injustice of your suspicions and uninspired thoughts concerning young gentlemen. There I was, eagerly grooming myself in order to impress all the ladies at HOG that night; for I ask, why should only ladies get to enjoy primping and vanity, and why then, should my substantial blonde mane suffer from neglect? I desire each follicle to be perfectly coiffed.”

“I am very glad that you admit such things Stenberg, for now I can be less ashamed about excessively employing products myself. Truly though, I had previously thought that young men viewed ornamenting themselves as a foolish waste of time.”
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