Anne Hathaway as Jane Austen in Becoming Jane
(Guest post by Maria Kruk, an author for Books.so)

The treasury of English literature is full of many remarkable authors and authoress. In particular, the names of Jane Austen, George Eliot and Bronte sisters still hold popularity in literature and, more notably, in cinematography. In the 19th century female writers could undermine their male opponents in some way, which is probably associated with women feature of overacting and perceiving life events more closely. In very deed, the problem of a woman state in the society was widely discussed in the Victorian Age.

It is interesting to know that Jane Austen precisely predetermined upraise of women’s’ topic in English culture. The thing is that her literary career and masterworks did not fit the chronological boundaries of the Victorian epoch, a period of social disputes and cultural progress. On the contrary, her novels fit well enough in its socio-cultural and literary context. Her work has played a key role in the formation of the "female" prose and encouraged many followers. In fact, Jane Austen did not chase a goal of fighting for women rights. In contrast, characters of Jane Austen’s novels accept their fate of obeying to the society of males.  They are able to feel deeply, they are devoted and permanent, endowed with a love of nature and reading, they are good-looking, good-tempered and well-educated individuals. To summarize the paragraph, the characters of Pride and Prejudice, Mansfield Park, Emma have marked a starting point of women’ supremacy in English literature.

Charlotte Bronte
1830-1840s happened to be the time, when writing became a recognized profession. It was a literary work and a real paid job at once, not to mention the opportunity to prove gender equality. It was a generation of Charlotte Bronte and George Eliot, who uncovered their points of view and opinions in the form of observers. Most of their novels are dedicated to the problem of search of proper women position in the society. Unlike Jane Austen’s characters, Bronte sisters described women as self-reliant, strong-willed and decisive people, who are capable of taking responsibility for their actions. The primary goal of getting married and creating a family is pushed away by a great mind to actualize professional goals. Regardless many female writers worked under male pseudonyms, it was a golden time of women prose in English literature.

In addition, it was a real turning point of women views and contradictions. For instance, the dualism of female viewpoints is vividly underlined by Charlotte Bronte. Many of her heroes, Jane Eyre, Shirley Keeldar, Lucy Snow, do not refuse from conventional family traditions, including the importance of marriage and a big family. On the other hand, they treat matrimony as a union of people with equal rights and obligations. The realization of women dreams is not limited by relatives, husband or children. To contrast women’s ideals, Charlotte Bronte also enlightens the males’ world outlook (for example, Rochester in Jane Eyre), where men’s dominance is doubtless and obvious.
 Fortunately, such issues are no longer actual at present.
Maria Kruk


Mystica said...

Thank you for a very interesting post.

Ludo said...

Let's not forget Frances Burney, please. She is considered the woman who put into writing the first comedy of manner (Evelina) and in her work you can find for the first time lots of those expressions which were not found in written material before, such as «coming out» referring to the debut in society.

She wrote the first mixed ending in an English novel (Cecilia) and some of the stylistic traits of her work influenced other authors: Jane Austen herself, but also Walter Scott.