Gender Roles In Northanger Abbey And Frances Burney

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Everywhere we look, we see differences in race, gender, and status. Some people are held to a higher standard and are given more privilege than others. This inequality is seen today and was seen throughout the 18th century. Not many women have the courage to speak out about what happens, but two brave female authors have done so. Jane Austen wrote Northanger Abbey and Frances Burney wrote Evelina, and both novels bring to light the injustices women face. Both female authors used the negative aspect of gender roles that come along with growing up as female to show that an individual can surpass limitations and stereotypes through personal strength.
Northanger Abbey is a typical romance novel that has the ending that all readers anticipate – the girl falls in love with the boy and they live happily ever after. However, Catherine grows as an individual and surpasses the stereotypical characteristics of a female during the time period. The novel brings to light the gender roles that were instilled during the 18th century by using male characters that strongly enforce what is believe during that time period.
Henry Tilney says, “In marriage, the man is supposed to provide for the support of the woman; the woman to make the home agreeable to the man; he is to purvey and she is to smile. But in dancing, their duties are exactly changed; the agreeableness, the compliance, are expected from him, while she furnishes the fan and the lavender water.” (Austen 73). Henry jokingly

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