The social code in Jane Austen's Emma, Pride and prejudice, Sense and sensibility, and Persuasion

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Drake, Robin E.
Annis, David B.
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Thesis (M.A.)
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The theme of this thesis is the relationship of the Jane Austen heroine to her social environment--codes of proper behavior as exemplified by the heroines of Emma, Pride and Prejudice, Sense and Sensibility, and Persuasion. The study follows the development of the characters from the ignorance of the social code demonstrated by Emma Woodhouse, through views of the expectations of women of marriageable age as seen by Elizabeth and Jane Rennet, to a comparison of sensible and sensitive behavior in Marianne and Elinor Dashwood, and concluding with the perfect propriety of Anne Elliot. The thesis explores the connection between propriety and the heroine, demonstrating why a heroine succeeds or fails on the basis of her individual view of the social code and her behavior in obeying or denying its dictates.