JA - money and heroines
Posted by Linden on March 19, 1998 at 21:43:14:
In response to Jane Austen's Economic Status?, written by Amy2 on March 19, 1998 at 20:51:16
I think she tells us herself pretty clearly, in her depiction of most of her heroines.
Apart from Emma, JA's heroines usually do not have enough to be independent, but come from families which are comfortably off.
They are not going to starve, but the alternative is often to live with relatives that they don't like (eg the Dashwoods).
Fanny Price would not have been chucked out of Mansfield if she hadn't married, and I don't think the Collinses would literally have thrown the Bennets out when Mr Bennet died. But it wouldn't be comfortable for any of them.
Marriage is not compulsory for the women, so they don't have to marry objectionable husbands. But marriage to a passably pleasant husband would be a better alternative than living as a poor relation.
For JA and her heroines, money represents what you can do, not what you can spend.
- poor relations Sarah P 05:12:41 3/20/98 (0)
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