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|'Jane Austen and the Body'
Written by Julia Mac
(8/14/2013 3:20 a.m.)
in consequence of the missive, Why so many ailing characters in Emma?, penned by Stacey GC
Sorry a bit of a late reply, but I would recommend reading John Wiltshire's 'Jane Austen and the Body.' It has an interesting chapter on sickness and it's social importance in Emma. A bit scholarly, but very interesting thesis.
From what I can recall he sees sickness as the manifestation of internal concerns, and the socially acceptable way for others to pry into one's secret emotions and thoughts. So, is Mrs Elton being kindly or very very nosy when looking after Jane? and is Mr Woodhouse sub-conciously using is own illness to confine Emma (his concern being abandonment)?
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