Senior Paper

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Jane Austen’s books Pride and Prejudice and Emma are linked in their timeframe. Austen lived in the 1800s and many of her books represent society in this time frame. Their characters are confined by normalcy and restricted by their surroundings. Mentally they are narrow minded, and society holds power to decide what class they can be in. Austen’s books Pride and Prejudice and Emma are created from her observations and portray the average lifestyle and struggle to define oneself. She observes three things: character, class, and feminism. It is almost as if the books take place in a vacuum where nothing interferes with the characters. "It depends not on any on any of the common resources of Novel writers, no drowning’s, nor conflagrations, nor runaway horses, nor lapdogs & parrots, nor chambermaids & milliners, nor reencounters and disguises" (Milbanke 54). Without usual dramatic plot points, the climax relies on the growth of characters and their change in status. In the beginning, the reader is entertained with the thoughts and commentary of the young eligible main characters Elizabeth and Emma. Fellow author of the era Bronte comments her distaste with bored state the main characters are in for the majority of the books. "I should hardly like to live with her ladies and gentlemen, in their elegant but confined houses"(Bronte 55). As if trapped behind a glass wall the main characters look on the rest of the world. Admittedly reading about a character watching and observing gets boring for the reader but this period contains important personal growth for Emma and Elizabeth. Manners are utilized by the society and are accepted ways of letting others know their place. “For most of the other characters, though, [fashionable manne... ... middle of paper ... ...ry Literature Criticism. Vol. 13. N.p.: n.p., n.d. 93. Print. Milbanke, Anne I. "Letter Date 1813." Lord Byron's Wife by Malcolm Elwin. N.p.: n.p., 1962. N. pag. Rpt. in Nineteenth-Century Literature Criticism. Vol. 13. N.p.: n.p., n.d. 54. Print. Trollope, Joanna. "What Jane Austen Knew about Class: Pretension Remains the Greatest Social Crime-And Authenticity the Greatest Virtue." New Statesman (1996) 1 Nov. 2013: 37+. Questia School. Web. 23 Jan. 2014. Works Consulted Anonymous. "Essay Date 1832." Atkinson's Casket. 10th ed. Vol. 7. N.p.: n.p., 1832. 470-73. Rpt. in Nineteenth-Century Literature Criticism. Vol. 13. N.p.: n.p., n.d. Print. Robinson, Henry C. "Diary Date 1819." Henry Crabb Robinson on Books and Their Writers. Vol. 1. N.p.: n.p., 1938. 227. Rpt. in Nineteenth-Century Literature Criticism. Vol. 13. N.p.: n.p., n.d. 55. Print.

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