Feminism in Northanger Abbey and Persuasion by Jane Austen

1940 Words Feb 4th, 2018 8 Pages
As she wrote in one of her novel Persuasion, she considers that ‘Men have had every advantage of us in telling their own story. Education has been theirs in so much higher a degree; the pen has been in their hands. I will not allow books to prove anything’ (Anne Elliot, in Jane Austen’s Persuasion). Such feminist ideas are expressed in many of her literary works. In her another novel Northanger Abbey, there are various issues discussed, which include not only marriage, social criticism and Gothic, but also feminism as well. The essay is to discuss Jane Austen and her feminist thoughts by analyzing Northanger Abbey. The analysis will cover three aspects. First of all, in her book, Jane Austen expresses the view that both genders possess equal creative and intellectual qualities, and thus women are born to be equal to men. Second, she expresses her skepticism towards the degree of rationality and justice of the common social norms about female behavior. The third aspect is that Austen also insists that women should act for themselves in a rational way rather than merely trying to impress or to please the other sex. First, though Jane Austen’s Northanger Abbey is not completely categorized as a feminist novel, by portraying the protagonist Catherine in the way Jane Austen does, she expresses her opinion that women have been individuals with…

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