Gender In Jane Austen's Emma

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Jane Austen’s Emma opens with a straightforward, strong statement “Emma Woodhouse, handsome, clever, and rich” ; although a bit unusual and slightly vain, Austen has brought Emma as an emasculated heroine making her a suited character to a patriarchal society. On the other hand the thoughtful head of William Shakespeare’s Hamlet and his hatred of women shown by occasional exclaims and verbally aggressive behavior “Frailty, thy name is woman!” represent women as being worthy only of their beauty, purity and fragility, and as so can be very easily manipulated and subdued. Never could he forgive his mother for submitting to her desires as he could not perceive her of having them to begin with, but instead of being submitted into having them as…show more content…
On the other hand the way Hamlet expresses his gender is contrived by social norms and predefined ways of being each gender, as it is demonstrated that he does behave differently and does know to have another side to him. Also Emma may seem to be quite the opposite of Hamlet and instead be a wholesome representation of feminists or rather free gender expression I don’t think that would be an accurate statement. Emma is free, yes, but she too expresses sometimes the need to not be under the pressure of expressing her inner rebellious and independent woman. When on the verge of marrying Mr.Knightley, she started panicking over the fact that she wanted to be independent yet attached to him and that was expressed by her not wanting to move form Hartsfield, on the other hand, was Hamlet such a distasteful man he would have never gone to Ophelia’s room to hug her and then leave without a word. There is no such thing, I believe, as complete liberty of gender expression. As long as we are human there is always going to be an ideal, an idea, a longing for someone of the opposite sex to act a certain way, for we are eccentric creatures. So long as we aspire to
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