Part Three: Essay
Within this course, a main theme that has been discussed across each novel has been the understanding or critique of whether or not an individual’s position within society should indicate how well perceived they are within society. Each author within our course has touched on the idea of position within society and the way people of a lower or higher position with society, whether it is due to wealth or due to an individual being born into a reputable family, or both. There has also been a overarching question of whether or not people should marry someone who is of the same social position as themselves, or whether it is acceptable to marry someone who is of a lower class or fortune than oneself. This essay will discuss how the novel’s Emma and Wuthering Heights demonstrate that an individual who marries an individual with equal social standing and fortune are more likely to live a more safe and comfortable life.
Throughout the novel Emma by Jane Austen, Emma is a naïve young woman who has everything that she could ever want to be able to live a comfortable and fulfilling lifestyle. However, Emma is stricken with boredom and a overwhelming feeling of lacking a purpose in life when her beloved governess and friend Miss. Taylor, soon to become Mrs. Weston, gets married. At this point in her life Emma has nothing to do, as she is a woman of high station and incredible wealth, who’s only true friend is leaving her to get married. Throughout
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Jane Austen begins the novel Emma by stating, “Emma Woodhouse, handsome, clever, and rich, with a comfortable home and happy disposition, seemed to unite some of the best blessings of existence, and had lived nearly twenty-one years in the world with very little to distress or vex her” (1) immediately giving readers the impression that Emma is a young woman whom the readers should respect and grow to love throughout the novel. As we continue reading, however, we learn that while Emma has a good reputation and a circle of people who love her and want the best for her, she is extremely flawed. In the article, The Darkness in Emma, Anita Soloway states, “for Emma, beauty, cleverness, and wealth prove to be mixed blessings at best, for they foster the conceit of arrogance that lead her to hurt others and threaten her own happiness” (86) which ties into my argument that Emma’s good reputation is not necessarily based on her character, but instead, the lifestyle she lives, which is a similar concept for Tom in Tom Jones.
Jane Austen was a Georgian era author who was best known for her novels that commented on social issues and class, and Northanger Abbey is no exception. Austen’s social commentary is apparent in this novel’s plot, as the reader follows a seventeen-year-old protagonist, Catherine Morland, as she matures and forms intimate relationships with fellow characters in an England town called Bath. Marriage between characters in the novel is heavily based on wealth, and because of England’s unstable economy at the time, marrying into wealth meant maintaining a high social class and economic stability for the characters. The importance of economic prosperity and social rank heavily influenced marriage in 19th century England, and this idea bourgeoisie classism and marrying for wealth is contradicted by Austen in her novel, Northanger Abbey.
Jane Austen provides her readers with insight into marriage and English society within the 1800’s. In Emma, the story establishes the idea that society could not function without marriage and how the institution of marriage defined one’s social status.
In eighteenth century which feminist in social status was not popular by that time, author can only through literature to express her thought and discontented about society. Jane Austen’s Emma advocates a concept about the equality of men and women. Also satirizes women would depend on marriage in exchange to make a living or money in that era. By the effect of society bourgeois, Emma has little self-arrogant. She is a middle class that everyone could admire, “Young, pretty, rich and clever”, she has whatever she needs. She disdains to have friends with lower levels. However, she is soon reach satisfaction with matchmaking for her friend. Story characterizes a distorted society images and the superiority of higher class status. It
Comparisons of Emma and Clueless pose critical explorations into the importance of context and its role in shaping social values. Heckerling’s appropriation of Jane Austen’s 19thC Emma, provides contrasting social ideals regarding gender and class which can be accredited as a result of their differing contextual settings. Values surrounding the importance of social hierarchy, gender disparities and education are prevalent themes addressed within each text. Due to shifts in social standards during the 2 centuries separating these texts, there are particular distinctions between the mechanisms underlying these themes. However, a key similarity linking these texts are their critiques on the morality behind the actions of those in privileged
To marry for money and not love is frowned upon as a social norm, but is also seen as an opportunity for women to rise in the social hierarchy. Though, love is to be the reason why bonds like marriage exist. Being a woman in the nineteenth century limits social advancement and makes it seem impossible without wealth, a background of family fortune, or matrimony to a man labeled high class. Emma Woodhouse, from the novel Emma written by Jane Austen, defines what it means to seek stature through marriage and how couples can aid in contexts such as social groups. Austen clearly covers social groups in her novel, but making the novels focal point circumvent around Emma. We look beyond how class enables opportunity for women and see just how
Emma Woodhouse, who begins the novel "handsome, clever, and rich, with a comfortable home and a happy disposition" (Austen 1), suffers from a dangerous propensity to play matchmaker, diving into other’s lives, for what she believes is their own good. Despite this, she is a sympathetic character. Her matchmaking leads only to near-disasters and her expressions of remorse following these mistakes are sincere and resolute. Jane Austen's Emma concerns the social milieu of a sympathetic, but flawed young woman whose self-delusion regarding her flaws is gradually erased through a series of comic and ironic events.
Austen’s views within Emma are a reflection of the prevailing views in the Regency Era, as the upper classes often abused their wealth and influence to ensure that their descendants would be wealthy like them. The rigidity associated with the class structure within the Regency era is initially reflected when Emma is characterised as, “handsome, clever and rich with a comfortable home and a happy disposition”. The fact the sentence specifically mentions her assets definitely emphasises how her inherited wealth is the major (if not only) factor accounting for her high status. This classist structure is later reflected with the gentry’s interactions of those below their social class. Emma’s arrogant tone when she teaches Harriet “the yeomanry are precisely the order of people with whom I can feel I can have nothing to do” is indicative of the inflexible nature of the class system during that era. It was acceptable to feel superior due to being of a higher class. Her view symbolises that of the upper classes’ patronising attitude to the lower classes, and thus emphasises the omnipresent nature of the class system within the United Kingdom. Hence, Austen’s heavy emphasis on the class system within Emma is a stark reminder of how our behaviours have not developed over the
In Austen’s times, social hierarchy was based primarily on one's name, wealth, and family connections. It was highly rigid, and the only way to improve one's situation was to marry up. This was reflected by the fact that while Harriet is deemed to be good company, she is never considered by anyone to be on the same social standing. So by manipulating her to refuse Mr. Martin’s proposal, Emma is doing her friend a huge disservice, for as “the natural daughter of somebody”, Harriet had no better option. Austen critiques the superficiality of the class system by contrasting the views of Mr. Knightley with those of Emma. Knightley deems Mr. Martin an “intelligent, respectable gentleman-farmer”, making an evaluation of his character. Emma, however, always sees a person’s status first and makes a judgment of character around that – and so she is immediately disapproving of Mr
Albeit, this sense of authority Emma enjoys is quite fragile, considering the delimiting authority allowed a woman of Austen’s time. Therefore, Emma wishes to preserve and enhance her social status, while still being bound to the rules of her class, which inevitably place women in an inferior position to their male counterparts. The following paper will attempt to prove that despite marrying at the end of the novel, Emma does not seek love, but is much more interested in protecting her position in the patriarchal social hierarchy.
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.
Though at first glance, Emma appears to be a generic romantic novel about virtue and ladyhood, Austen actually challenges what the meaning of “ladyhood” is to the reader. We view Emma’s follies, trials, and triumphs through the eyes of the omnipotent narrator who first describes Emma as a stereotypical, wealthy young lady who is “handsome, clever…with…a happy disposition” (1). Through the use of irony, Austen employs a series of situations in which Emma, a “lady” of high standing within her community, challenges conventional thinking of what it means to be a young woman in the early nineteenth century, particularly her ideas concerning marriage and
Charles Bingley is the most we witness of social mobility. He is a gentleman who lives a lavish life, and whose money was ‘acquired by trade’. He walks in his father’s footsteps, and once married to Jane, he does buy an estate. This means that the ‘next generation will be a step upwards in their social ladder. His sisters on the other hand are status and power hungry and are ‘proud and conceited’. Darcy, rebutes, very realistically that the Bennet sisters’ connection with trade, will prove to be an obstacle to their happiness and will lessen their chance of marrying men of prestige. The quality of humans is judged by moral and humane standards. Charlotte Lucas chooses to marry the pompous Mr. Collins, not for love but it is simply a marriage of convenience, in which she is the one finding it convenient. Through this Jane Austen presents the bleak and futile existence of women, as well as the happier outcome, of the heroine who finds fulfillment in marrying the man she loves. The servants in Jane Austen’s novels represent the poor working class. The ‘poor’ are seldom mentioned, except through Lady Catherine’s scolding of degradation.
Austen reveals how self-transformation is necessary in maturing and establishing self-awareness. Emma Woodhouse possesses qualities that many would envy: beauty, intelligence, wealth, and youth. However, the positive aspects of Emma are equally contrasted by her personality. The novels begins with a description of the protagonist, "The real evils, indeed, of Emma 's situation were the power of having too much her own way, and a disposition to think a little too well of herself: these were the disadvantages which threatened alloy to her many enjoyments."
Marriage has no always been about the love and happiness two people bring eachother; instead it was concidered to be more of a business transaction. Emma by Jane Austen takes place during the early twentieth century, this time period was completly absorabed in social classes and had a much different view on marriage than today. Through the young, bold, wealthy, and beautiful character Emma Woodhouse, Jane Austen exposes the protocol of marriage as well as the effects marriage held based on social standing during the early twentieth centuery.