October 8, 2014
A Woman of Romanticism
The Romantic Era was a period of time that began in the late eighteenth century, originating in England. There are aspects which are true of this time period, some being the emphasis on moving oneself from society toward the outside, the significance of nature, and the experiences of common life. These characteristics are exemplified in the literature that came from this era. The literature of this time also included relationships among characters which showed the specific gender roles of this era. From the Romantic Period on, gender roles, and specifically the role of women have been explored through many pieces of work. Jane Austen’s Persuasion was published in 1817, when Romanticism was prevalent. The characters in this novel, as well as their relationships, can be analyzed regarding their gender relations as well as the role of women during this specific movement. Austen captures the essence of the era and allows her readers to grasp the specificities of what it means to be a woman during the Romantic Period along with their relationship among others. From the very beginning of the novel, many female characters are introduced. Elizabeth, Anne, and Mary are the daughters of Sir Walter Elliot. Because he has all daughters, Sir Elliot’s belongings will go to a distant male cousin rather than one of the girls. With their mother being deceased, Lady Russell, another crucial female, is a widow who is introduced as the family’s friend and financial advisor. “That Lady Russell, of steady age and character, and extremely well provided for, should have no thought of a second marriage, needs no apology to the public, which is rather apt to be unreasonably discontented when a woman does marry again, than when she does not; but Sir Walter's continuing in singleness requires explanation” (1.9). During this time period, a woman depended on a man for financial support; however, because Lady Russell...
Cited: Austen, Jane. Persuasion. New York: Knopf, 1992. Print.
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