Jane Austen’s Portrayal of Nineteenth-Century English Society
|Change of social status||7|
|Subjectivity of main protagonist||9|
Throughout the novel there is a noticeable motif of displacement. Captain Wentworth believes women should not board a ship because they are allowed only high levels of personal comfort and should be domestic. Even though Anne doesn’t find self-expression easy at the beginning of the story, she keeps to herself throughout the story until eventually her desires come true by chance or change of circumstances.
Jane Austen famously quoted “A large income is the best recipe for happiness I ever heard of.” It is evident, that the story revolves around economic security for Anne and her family. Despite sharp awareness of social class, and English provinciality its society seems to be at a turning point if new modern consciousness of the age. Individualism and alternative destinies can be seen through themes of romanticism. The protagonist possesses inward freedom in a sense that she is never at the center of attention. Anne fits the description of nineteenth century lady very well, she possesses self-command and knowledge. She represents a quality of character that was sought after by people during her period. She is continuously described to have an “elegant and cultivated mind” (41). However, a strong character is not enough to escape social defects. Austen describes a society under change and ironizes conservative resistance through Sir Walter Elliot’s arrogance. Austen criticizes the higher-class inheritance and entitlement. …
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