21 ausen maxist1

21 ausen maxist1 - Beteckning Department of Humanities...

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Beteckning Department of Humanities Women – The Lowest Class? A Marxist Critical Analysis of Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice and Persuasion Kristin Lindström June 2010 C-Essay, 15 credits English Literature
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English C Supervisor: Marko Modiano Examiner: Alan Shima Table of Contents 1. Introduction. ................................................................................................................ 3 2. Marxist Theory. .......................................................................................................... 5 3. Materialist Feminism. ................................................................................................ 7 4. Money and Class. ........................................................................................................ 8 5. Education and Occupation. ..................................................................................... 15 6. Independence and Marriage. ................................................................................... 17 7. Final Discussion and Conclusion. ............................................................................ 20 8. Sources. ...................................................................................................................... 24 9. Endnotes. ................................................................................................................... 25 2
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1. Introduction Jane Austen lived at a time, and in a world, which was governed by strict social standards and where class and social standing was of immense importance. Great Britain was also, in the late 18 th and early 19 th century, strongly patriarchal, something which obviously had a severe effect on the women who lived at the time. The female protagonists in all of Austen's novels deal with these issues in more or less obvious ways. This was a time when women had to marry to secure their future; the professions and the universities were not open to them. A woman of middle or higher class should strive to marry well, which meant marry a man with a good income, something which Austen satires in the famous first line of Pride and Prejudice 1 (1813): ”[i]t is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife” (5). Love was by many considered secondary, if considered at all. Marriage was to many women little more than a necessary evil; a way to get by in the world. It was a harsh world for women and it was worse the lower they were on the social ladder. This essay will use a Marxist critical approach to look at two of Austen's novels, Pride and Prejudice and Persuasion 2 (1817), to determine whether they support the traditional female roles of their time or if these two novels could in fact be said to, in some ways, oppose the patriarchal class society of its time and promote a more independent and emancipated role for women. Famous English novelist Anthony Trollope declared of Austen's novels that "[t]hroughout all her works, a sweet lesson of
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This note was uploaded on 04/07/2011 for the course ENG 295 taught by Professor Danettepaul during the Winter '11 term at BYU.

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21 ausen maxist1 - Beteckning Department of Humanities...

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