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Transformation in Austens Feminist Ideology - Essay Example

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The focus of this paper “Transformation in Austen’s Feminist Ideology” is on the argument that there seems to be a noticeable shift in Jane Austen’s work, with the progress of her career, as far as her feminist and individualistic ideology is concerned…
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Download file to see previous pages When it was published it was criticized as being ‘less fortunate’ when compared to her previous work and hence viewed as an inferior adaptation of her usual stories “devoid of invention...obviously, all drawn from experience” (The Critical Heritage, 80, 84). Andre Brink, on the other hand, described Austen’s body of work as a depiction of the “acute awareness of the position a woman occupies and her efforts to demarcate her own space in a man’s world”. When you look closer at Persuasion, you find it to be one of her most revolutionary and socially fascinating novel simply for the way it depicts the part played by the heroine in the 19th century England. Furthermore, it accounts for and supports a philosophy in which actions are solely based on sentiment, intuition and an individual’s personal happiness. Also, Austen indulgences in a language of allusion through the use of circumstances and characters that draw out her first novel, Pride, and Prejudice. This suggests that Austen wants both of these bookends of her career to be in undeviating dialogue with one another so much so that Persuasion is, to a great extent, a revision of Pride and Prejudice. Many of the plot features and character definitions of both these works are similar however the tone and theme of each are astonishingly different. The traces that one sees of Elizabeth in Anne’s character and the parallel frameworks of both these novels go on to elucidate and mark the shift from the emphasis placed on emotion over reason in the tone as well as the feminine worldview of Austen. Looking at her other works to gauge Austen’s emotional development and progression as a writer, while Persuasion most resembles Pride and Prejudice as far as a direct discourse is concerned, her other novels, most particularly Sense and Sensibility and Northanger Abbey provide more insight into the changes her work undergoes as far as the development of the heroine is concerned. Towards the end of her career, Austen’s focus is on the definition of personal happiness and success by a diverse rubric than the one that she focuses on in her novels; In Persuasion the key question of happiness are addressed by Austen in such a way that her influences, such as, the social change in England, the essential part played by family, the literature of Romanticism, and the comparison that can be drawn between the two heroines – Elizabeth Bennet and Anne Elliot. Looking at the contextual framework for Pride and Prejudice and Persuasion their similarities are such that they can be compared side-by-side; however, the heroines of these novels demonstrate a very unlike approach to defining their characters. The way Elizabeth’s character traces can be found in that of Anne’s goes to clarify and cement the observable shift in Austen’s overall tone and her worldview of feminism. Take for example the conclusion of Pride and Prejudice, the love Elizabeth confesses for Darcy seems to be a cautiously measured one – Darcy has made appropriate amends to all the wrongs pointed out by Elizabeth in her original refusal and in turn, she justifies her own acceptance of him by objectifying her standards. ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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