Representation Of Women In Jane Austen's Emma

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LIT 106 – Final Assignment Representation of women in Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte and Jane Austen’s Emma Jane Austen - Emma Jane Austen as one of the most widely read writer in English literature voices her concern about 18th century gender roles throughout her novels. A woman choosing to write as a talent has been, in and of itself, a feminist act for the majority of literary history. Authorship was traditionally a male dominated field with few mentors for female writers. Austen continued to exchange the perils of appearing to be too independent or critical of her patriarchal culture while still declaring her own voice within the novels themselves. On the level of plot, Austen undermined her somewhat progressive themes by working…show more content…
While in other novels, Austen’s heroines’ views marriage as a financial necessity, Emma expresses no interest or desire to marry for the majority of the novel. Her fortune assures her of independence and security. In fact, her chief concern is that marriage will prevent her from maintaining that independence. Emma is remarkable self-possessed and views love only from a detached and almost masculine standpoint. Austen uses the technique of education to illustrate her views on the role of marriage in Emma. Emma is a unique heroine in Austen’s principle because she comes from the most affluent family in town. Her father adores her, her governess spoils her, and her community can find no fault with her. Emma is superior in intelligence to almost everyone she knows. She gets constant praise from her family and friends, which have culminated in a false belief that she can do no wrong. Emma has the luxury of marrying only if she finds love, for, as she explains to Harriet, “fortune I do not want; employment I do not want; consequence I do not want; I believe few married women are half as much mistress of their husband’s house, as I am of Hartfield”…show more content…
She has grown into her role as leader of the social order, which Austen parallels to the role of the wife. Emma’s journey of self-growth is ultimately tied to the concept of marriage. Austen uses Emma to show how this maturation process occurs; manipulating the emotional response to convince her audience that social responsibility is important. Her marriage to Mr. Knightley as the novel closes, however, is not mere coincidence. Emma’s maturation allows her to see Mr. Knightley as a romantic figure despite deviations from her concept of the ideal hero. Initially, Emma’s need to write her own storylines obscures reality, and only when she stops attempting to change the world to suit her notions can she look outside herself and realize that Mr. Knightley is the man with whom she belongs. In this way, Austen parallels Emma’s comprehension of responsibility to her maturation into competent wife. The two processes cannot be separated, and in the same manner the role of the wife cannot be separated from social responsibilities. Emma is not the story of a man teaching a woman how to be his perfect wife; rather, it is the story of a woman understanding her social responsibility and realizing her true potential. Thus, Austen uses Emma to show that women do have power in society, and this power comes with the responsibility of answering to a moral calling. Austin uses the marriage plot in Emma as a way to

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