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Courting Revitalization: Companionate Marriage and the Problem of the Landed Gentry's Reform in Jane Austen

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Author: Luze, Meredith Paige
Advisor: Wheatley, Kim, 1960-
Committee Members: Barnes, Elizabeth, 1959-; Wilson, Brett; Levitan, Kathrin, 1977-
Issued Date: 7/18/2012
Subjects: Jane Austen
Mansfield Park
Landed gentry
Class structure
Courtship novel
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10288/16780
Description: This paper investigates the flaws which Jane Austen sees within the landed gentry and examines how she uses the form of the courtship novel, with its emphasis on the heroine's viewpoint, to both point out the gentry's problems and pose a solution. Looking at Mansfield Park, Emma, and Persuasion together shows how Austen becomes increasingly dissatisfied with the landed gentry and changes her opinion of the necessary solution from endogamous marriage to exogamous marriage. Courtship and marriage provide the means for revitalization of the landed gentry, and through the implications of the heroines' marriages Austen assesses the feasibility of her proposals for reform.
Degree: Bachelors of Arts in English

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