Posted by kathleen (elder) on June 29, 1998 at 15:26:25:
In response to Ideals of womanhood, written by Arnessa on June 28, 1998 at 22:33:22
] Arnessa said:. . . by admiring Elinor's sometimes cold rationality, JA is turning this feminine ideal on its head. And I was merely wondering whether she was trying to create a new ideal of femininity, one based more closely on reality.
Mr Perkins (author of the Reshaping the Sexes in Sense and Sensibility) has the following to say:
". . . it is in Sense and Sensibility, . . . that Jane Austen most aggressively undertakes to reconstruct dominant concepts of gender." [p.5]
"In depicting Elinor Dashwook, Jane Austen achieved something uncommon in our major fiction: the rendering of an intellectual. Even more unheard of, a female intellectual." [p. 12]
". . . Elinor Dashwood's modes of thought resemble, possibly more than those of any other of her author's creations do, those of Samuel Johnson, one of the intellectuals of that century most admired by Jane Austen." [p.22]
He also discusses Marianne and Edward (a chapter each), but I have not finished reading that part.
Elsewhere Mr Perkins refers to Elinor as Austen's "most flagrantly gender-dissonant heroine" and a "communitarian stateswoman." He finds S&S to have the most overt breaking of stereotypes in all of the mature works. There are several interesting ideas presented, and as I puzzle them out I will share them with you.
- Please do! Arnessa 13:08:28 7/01/98 (0)
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