Marriage And Love In Mary Poovey's The True English Style

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Mary Poovey’s “The True English Style” is an easy to follow analysis of the themes and philosophical difference between marriage and love, particularly in the regency era, from Jane Austen’s novel Emma. Immediately Poovey states her thesis which does away with a presentism reading and discuss social/moral issues in the era of Jane Austen also known as the regency era.

“This contradiction between imagined autonomy and legal negation is the contradiction that romantic love denies and the marriage plot suspends. And even though it does not appear in this precise form in Emma, I want to argue that this paradox – and the contradiction it foreshadows – constitutes the ideological tension the novel is trying to manage and the terms in which plot complications are engendered and resolved. Let me explain a little more fully what I mean” (401).

A clean and comprehendible thesis. Poovey has a conversational element to her writing which makes her more complex ideas easier to digest in comparison to a more formal structure which would damage the essays efficiency to communicate. That said, her broad thesis is never focused enough to support the following examples and claims. Poovey exhibits a nice pace in her essay by following up her thesis with an immediate example breaking down Emma Woodhouse’s view on marriage and love. Poovey states that Emma’s reluctant nature to marry is her awareness that based off her current social status marriage couldn’t give her anything she already has
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