Emma by Jane Austen Essay

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In Emma Jane Austen exposes the limitations of the role of women in her society. Examine Austen’s presentation of what is called in the novel, women’s usual occupations of eye, and hand, and mind.

Emma – Role of Woman

In Emma Jane Austen exposes the limitations of the role of women in her society. Examine Austen’s presentation of what is called in the novel, ‘women’s usual occupations of eye, and hand, and mind’.

In Jane Austen’s society, the role of women was controlled by what was expected of them. In most cases, marriage was not for love, and was considered as a business arrangement, in which both partners could gain status and financial reassurance. Though Austen opposed the idea of none affectionate marriage, many
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As Mr. Elton’s pride is greatly damaged, he decides to go to bath for a holiday, and returns with an offensive, vulgar woman, who will soon be his wife. Mrs. Elton is a rude, dull woman, but has a high social status, which is the reason Mr. Elton chose her. From this love-match, Austen shows us how wrong it is to marry for anything but love. Though it is a highly amusing situation, and Mrs. Elton herself is a very comical character, it in fact causes very serious and severe circumstances, in which these two people will be unhappily married for most probably the rest of their lives.

In addition, the novelist provides us with many diverse roles of women. Women did not have careers, simply marriage offers. We are soon introduced to Harriet Smith, who is an illegitimate orphan, with no options but to hope for a marriage proposal. She does not seem to have a great personality, has a bad background, and no dowry whatsoever, so it is a strange case when the young farmer, Robert Martin, proposes to her. Though instead of being grateful, she listens to Emma and refuses his proposal which is seen as an enormous shock and appalling judgment by her. We are then presented with Miss Taylor, who was a governess for the Woodhouse household. Though Miss Taylor marries, and moves away, she is still considered as a very close relation to the
Woodhouse’, which is again an odd case for this society. A
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