What is the meaning of 'take on' in the following context: "Although the birth of the English novel is to be seen in the first half of the 18th century in the work of Daniel Defoe, Samuel Richardson, and Henry Fielding, it is with Jane Austen that the novel takes on its distinctively modern character in the realistic treatment of unremarkable people in the unremarkable situations of everyday life."
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I’m not a teacher.
take on = acquire as, or as if, own’s own
“He took on the look of prosperous banker.”
acquire = obtain or receive, assume