How do Jane Austen and E.M Forster portray their heroines as remarkably independent?

How do Jane Austen and E.M Forster portray their heroines as remarkably independent?

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The independence of the heroines in “Pride and Prejudice” and “A Room With a View” can be defined by their unconventional views and the fearlessness that they display. In “Pride and Prejudice”, Austen presents her heroine Elizabeth as having unconventional views on marriage and society. It is clear that in Austen’s choice of Elizabeth she is presenting an alternative role model for the women of Regency society. Similarly, in “A Room With a View”, E.M Forster’s heroine Lucy demonstrates an independence and fearlessness in her choices which challenges society’s expectations.
Elizabeth’s views are of crucial importance to her independence; both in her personal life and views of wider society. Elizabeth’s view of supporting her sister after hearing of her poor health enables her to walk to Netherfield, unconcerned with what others think of her: “the distance is nothing, when one has a motive; only three miles”. Elizabeth’s desire to see Jane was unconventional since the only form of transportation to Netherfield was by foot this is expressed in Mary’s comment “exertion should always be in proportion to what is required". Elizabeth’s views are especially manifested in her attitude towards marriage. Elizabeth’s view of marrying someone you love and respect allows her to reject two proposals despite the threat of poverty. Elizabeth strongly believes in marrying for love “nothing but the very deepest love will induce me into matrimony”. This view on marriage was not shared by society as one’s wealth and social class were often the inducer of matrimony, thus making Elizabeth’s view highly unprecedented. Additionally, Jane Austen observed that “Single women have a dreadful propensity for being poor which is one very strong argument i...


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...judice” and “A Room With a View” are portrayed as remarkably independent, their independence is used to convey an alternative role model for their societies. More specifically, Elizabeth’s independent character is used to demonstrate that women in Regency England can marry someone they love and have a “happy ending” that was much desired for as opposed to the common alternative of living in poverty or marrying for convenience. In contrast, Lucy’s independence is used to encourage readers to embrace their individualism, despite the social stigma that they may face. Elizabeth and Lucy’s views are the most significant quality that enables them to be independent, as it creates a foundation for their actions and choices. Although there are alternative readings, Austen and Forster illustrate that both heroins are independent, and this is a desirable quality in a women.

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