Essay - Jane Austen (1811), Thomas Hardy, and Emily Bronte (1847) Sex...


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Jane Austen (1811), Thomas Hardy, and Emily Bronte (1847)

Sex And Sensibility

It is well known that the Victorian era was one in which massive inequalities ex*****ted between men and women. Women were not allowed to vote, in many cases their right to own property was tenuous, and their place in society ***** extremely conscribed. One would expect, then, to see this reflected in the lit*****ture of the era ***** dealt with the lives ***** relationships of women. This expectation is in fact realized in three of the classics which have survived ***** era: Tess of ***** d'Urbervilles by ***** Hardy, Sense and ***** by Jane *****, and Wuthering Heights by Emily *****. Each ***** these s*****ries deals with the romance of a strong Victorian heroine struggling to survive in a male dominated world. In each, ***** astute reader will notice the difference in f*****ancial power ***** men and wo*****, the inconsistencies in sexual mores that exist between the genders, and the difference in status made obvious ***** *****ir different approaches to marriage.

***** the three very significantly not only in terms of plot and conclusion, but also in their treatment of gender differences. Generally speaking, Tess ***** the D'Urbervilles deals in polemics the *****equities *****men face and *****ir serious consequences for the sex, Sense ***** Sensibility deals with the full spectrum of gender issues while approaching the *****ed system as posing problems for both ***** and female lovers, and Wu*****ring Heights seeks to transcend gender within love altogether, even though its characters in this sense often fail. It is difficult to say how much of the difference ***** these ***** writers ***** due ***** ***** in the era in which *****y lived (the various authors were as much as *****ty years apart in *****ir dates of publication) and ***** much w***** due to the differences ***** artist temperament and personal experience or conviction.

What is certain ***** that, taken *****gether, the three can provide a poignant vignette of the *****s, privileges, and constrictions of *****ity in the Victorian era, as it collided painfully *****ith class upheaval and the redistribution of wealth among the new rich.

The difference in financial power between men ***** women is a very signifi*****t issue in all three novels. In fact, this difference arguably provides ***** central plot motivator for both Hardy and Austen's stories, ***** its idealization is a huge part of the social plot prods in Wuthering Heights as well.

In Sense and Sensibility, the financial difference ***** men and wo***** affects every ***** ***** ***** characters, and ***** in fact the cause of the family crisis at ***** novel's beginning. In the opening scenes, the reader discovers that the D*****h*****od girls have been left impoverished by their father's death. The family's entire estate has been left to their father's son by his first marriage, due to the patriarchal nature of ***** inheritance laws in England, which dictates ***** an estate goes to the nearest male relative. However, it appears the women are

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