Jane Austen 's Rejection Of Rousseau : A Novelistic And Feminist Initiation

1647 Words Apr 24th, 2015 null Page
The door slammed shut with a thundering thud. A familiar dark physique filled the door way into the kitchen. Rushed words poured out of the wife’s mouth, causing her pitch to climb. With a glare that instantly silenced her, the man sat and waited. A flurry of activity began to as his wife scrambled to produce a suitable meal. Once finished, she stood in the corner awaiting his reaction. The silence continued until he finally began to eat. With relief, a small breath escaped the wife’s lips. Another day… The gender dynamic within households differs greatly in terms of time and perception. In Paula Conen’s “Jane Austen’s Rejection of Rousseau: a Novelistic and Feminist Initiation,” she suggests that Jane Austen’s novel Pride and Prejudice rejects Rousseau’s idea of women’s roles, and supports the concept of a new modern woman. She successfully describes the perceptions of both Rousseau and Austen in a way that clearly correlates with each other. While Conen argues her opinion that Austen’s new women are independent fairly accurately, using both Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy, she fails to bring up other characters that could have strengthened her argument. The time period in which Jane Austen wrote was saturated with the influence of Rousseau’s writings. Paula Conen states, “The sentimental style popularized by Rousseau was the prevailing model for writers throughout the late eighteenth and early nineteenth century,” (Conen 1). Rousseau’s work was booming throughout the era in…

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