Jane Austen's Influence

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When thinking of great writers of the past, one would think of Dante, Chaucer, Homer, Shakespeare, Emily Bronte, and the list goes on. An important name that will certainly come to mind is Jane Austen. Austen was a respected writer during her lifetime, but her true glory began after her death. During her life, Europe was very much expanding with literature and writing was increasingly influential. Austen’s different views on common events and issues really made her stand out from those during the time, and her intriguing writing still captivates readers today. Jane Austen greatly impacted European world culture and society through her literature, as she reconsidered issues and situations of her time from a woman’s viewpoint.

Jane Austen impacted European culture and society by subtly pointing out the unfair way women were regarded during her time. Living in the late 1700s and early 1800s as an upper class British woman, not much was individually expected from her. She was expected to marry into a wealthier family, bear children, play music, sing, and learn languages. Nothing more than that was expected of Austen. Through her literature, Jane brought significant attention to a woman’s dependence on marriage to be financially secure and accepted in society. Though she was not distinctively a feminist, Jane Austen certainly pitied women who settled for such a low lifestyle without self worth and value, since they depended so highly on their social caliber and acceptance. She also points out repeatedly that women are capable of being successful intellectuals or writers, but they give in to less. In one of Austen’s novels, Emma, we see this value on economic condition determining happiness. The first line says, “Emma Woodhouse, handsome, clever, and rich, with a comfortable home and happy disposition, seemed to unite some of the best blessings of existence.” (Jane Austen 1). This line relates to what most ladies of her day and age would consider “the best...
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