Wednesday, October 2, 2019
Comparing Male Dominance in Pride and Prejudice, Mansfield Park, and Em
Support of Male Dominance in Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice, Mansfield Park, and EmmaÃ Ã While there is no shortage of male opinions concerning the role of females, which usually approve of male dominance, there is a lack of women expressing views on their forced subservience to men. This past subordination is the very reason there were so few females who plainly spoke out against their position, and the search for females expressing the desire for independence necessarily extends to the few historical works by women that do exist. Jane Austen is a well-known female author, and it is natural that her novels would be studied in an attempt to find a covert feminist voice. However, though certain feminist elements may exist, one common theme found throughout the novels Pride and Prejudice, Mansfield Park, and Emma, makes it impossible to label these works as completely supporting feminism. The idea that women should not be allowed to have power, should be controlled by men, and that males should use their power to the fullest extent is inescapable. This idea is raised repea tedly throughout these novels. One aspect of this theme expresses the belief that women should not have power since it causes women to corrupt themselves and harm those around them. In Pride and Prejudice, Mrs. Bennet and Lady Catherine are prime examples of why women should not be allowed to have control. Though she is not the head of the household, Mrs. Bennet does have control because her husband would rather watch than participate in the family. This is shown when Mrs. Bennet was embarrassing the family by her transparent attempt to give Jane and Mr. Bingley more time together after every one else had left the ball, and Mr. Bennet did not try to c... ...rests of women are served by being controlled and encouraging the full use of male authority. Though this idea is supported by the characters of her imagination and has no basis in reality, it does further advocate the patriarchal power system. Whether Jane Austen was conscience of this theme is unknown, but even if she did not intend for it to occur, it is no less real. Works Cited Austen, Jane. Pride and Prejudice. Norton Critical 3rd edition, ed. Donald Gray New York and London: Norton, 2001. Austen, Jane. Emma. Norton Critical 3rd edition, ed. Donald Gray New York and London: Norton, 2001. Austen, Jane. Mansfield Park. Norton Critical 3rd edition, ed. Donald Gray New York and London: Norton, 2001. Trilling, Lionel. "Mansfield Park". Jane Austen: A Collection of Critical Essays. Ian Watt, ed. Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey: Prentice Hall, 1963.