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Title: Exploring the 'convenient camouflage' of convention in Jane Austen's fiction
Authors: Mizzi, Yana
Keywords: Austen, Jane, 1775-1817 -- Criticism and interpretation
Austen, Jane, 1775-1817 -- Characters
English prose literature -- 19th century
Issue Date: 2011
Abstract: The introduction to this thesis puts forth a question regarding the conservative nature of Austen's fiction which the dissertation then aims to answer. A decision was made regarding the method with which the question would be addressed. After much deliberation it seemed that the best way to go about it would be to focus on two particular aspects found in Austen's fiction - money matters and issues regarding women. I would also like to add that despite concentrating mostly on Austen's literary works, some importance has also been given to the available collection of her letters and to existing knowledge regarding her contemporary society. This was done to support the arguments made and in order to present the discussion in a far more holistic manner. The first chapter deals with financial matters and class distinction. To deal with this topic properly, it seemed that the best way to approach Austen's literary portrayal of money was by first taking a look at her own thoughts on the matter. Having looked into Austen's letters and understood how careful she was with money, I was not thrown off by her complete disregard of it in the juvenilia. The aim of examining her portrayal of money in her novels was to explore Austen's own take on money by observing the way characters and money matters are handled. The second chapter aims to look into the social situation for women in Austen's society. Once again it was important to be aware of the contemporary, established conventions and concepts regarding women at the time. I felt that these issues had to be taken into consideration for not only did looking into the spirit of the age help establish a backdrop to Austen's literary works, but it also helped to create a point of reference for any arguments developed In this part of the discussion, the aim was to explore the way Austen makes use of female characters in order to support or protest against a particular issue women were faced with at the time. 4 The conclusion of the discussion aims to answer the question asked in the introduction and deals with some final points that needed to be made. The aim behind taking one last look at financial matters and class distinction and issues related to women and marriage, was to solidify any conclusion that might have been reached. In retrospect, it seems that the findings supported my thoughts on the matter of Austen's literary conservative nature. Claims that Austen's work is conventional and traditional are debatable. It is in fact still a query that many put forth and is a field that provides a lot of material for investigation.
Description: B.A.(HONS)ENGLISH
Appears in Collections:Dissertations - FacArt - 2011
Dissertations - FacArtEng - 2011

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