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|Very good analysis. As I posted below, in Emma we have
Written by AnnetteJ
(4/27/2010 8:18 a.m.)
in consequence of the missive, Charlotte, Spinsterhood and Society (Long), penned by BarbaraB
that figure of "fun," the poor spinster Miss Bates, contrasted (and treated with great disrespect by) with the wealthy single woman Emma. I don't think anyone with a bit of sense would mess with Emma, married or unmarried -- as the character points out, money would make all the difference. Anne Elliott would not suffer economically either if she remained single, but hers would be the humiliation of being scorned by her shallow father and older sister, and being at the beck and call of her married younger sister -- much more the figure of the spinister than the wealthier Emma.
Charlotte and the Bennet sisters would probably have had to take the traditional role of the spinster as you indicated. Perhaps they would have been reduced to becoming governesses (the bleak prospect facing Jane Fairfax when no one knew of her secret engagement -- it was the logical thing for her to do even if she loathed the idea). Charlotte had, potentially, the protection of her brothers, but still the thought of being socially confinded, and considered an inferior human being simply because of her marital state, must have played as heavily on her mind as she made her decision to marry Mr Collins.
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