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

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

***** And Sensibility

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

Yet the three very significantly not only ***** terms of plot and conclusion, but also in their treatment of gender differences. Generally speaking, Tess of the D'Urbervilles ***** in polemics the inequities *****men face and ***** serious consequences for ***** sex, ***** ***** Sensibility deals with the full spectrum ***** gender issues while approaching the gendered system as posing problems ***** 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 ***** ***** three writers ***** due ***** *****s in the era in which they lived (the various authors were as much as forty years apart in *****ir dates ***** publication) ***** ***** much was ***** to the differences ***** artist temperament and personal experience or conviction.

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

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

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


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