Елизабет Бенет


Елена Алулоска


This master’s thesis under the title “The Woman against the Patriarchal Conventions of the British Society in Jane Austen’s and Charlotte Brontë’s Novels” investigates the position of the English woman in the first half of the British nineteenth-century society. The corpus includes the following four novels: Pride and Prejudice and Emma by Jane Austen, and Jane Eyre and Shirley by Charlotte Brontë. The analysis in the thesis draws on some feminist thoughts of Virginia Woolf, Simone de Beauvoir and Elaine Showalter respectively, as well as on the sociological and cultural studies. The overview of the context in the thesis includes historical, social and cultural portrayal of British society in the first half of the nineteenth-century, relevant for the understanding of the selected corpus of fiction. In addition, the chapter dealing with the context also draws on Jane Austen`s and Charlotte Brontë’s lives correspondingly so that the reader can better understand their attitudes on the position of women, as each of them wrote from her own female experience. Thus, the aim of this master’s thesis is not only to expose the underprivileged position of women in the first half of the nineteenth century, but also to highlight the heroines’ struggles against the patriarchal conventions of British society of that time. Through their female characters, Austen and Brontë raised the voice of the English women of the first half of the nineteenth century, empowering them to express their feelings and thoughts as well as to fight for their love, ambitions and ideals. Thus, this master’s thesis shows that Austen and Brontë not only gained ground on the male writers in the first half of the nineteenth century, but they began to rival them. The two women writers have established themselves as distinguished novelists, preoccupied with the daily lives of the genteel women in the domestic sphere, focusing on the question of their marriage, always resolved through the heroines’ successful fight against the patriarchal conventions.


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