Austen describes Anne Elliot as attractive, well-educated, and amiable. She is the daughter of Sir Walter Elliot, a vain baronet, who has driven his family into bankruptcy with his extravagant spending. The Elliot family is forced to move from their Kellynch Hall estate in order to lessen their debt. This instability of economic advantage conflicts with the belief that the recognition of social class is universal, which is the core of traditional British society. ...
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...s, and carriages all reveal social rank in English society. Austen makes point of the shades of dominance in class in both Persuasion and Northanger Abbey. In Northanger Abbey, Catherine Morland moves from an awkward adolescence into a mature woman and later, marriage. Catherine must look past her own class in order to begin her life with Henry Tilney. As both stories unfold, Anne and Catherine must free themselves from familial authority in order to assert independence and marry for love. In Austen’s time, there was no real way for young women of neither the lower nor higher classes to strike out and be independent. The only way for women to acquire money was to marry for it or inherit it. As the narratives unfold, Austen analyzes the British class system through the struggle faced by both Anne Elliot and Catherine Morland in order to achieve love and happiness.
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