Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Authoring resistance to power: Jane Austen and Michel Foucault
by Hill, Christine A., M.A., California State University, Long Beach, 2014, 84; 1566290
Abstract (Summary)

Using Michel Foucault's knowledge/power dynamic I demonstrate the ways in which Jane Austen examines the socially constructed nature of truth in her last three novels. In Persuasion competing ideas of power are represented by Captain Wentworth and Sir Walter Elliot, positing the idea that a society based on hierarchy is antiquated as economic, political and social configurations within England change. The detrimental effects of the marriage myth are revealed in Mansfield Park, as the social and sexual limitations of women are seen through the parallel stories of the Ward sisters and Fanny, Julia and Maria. Emma highlights the way in which Mrs. Elton uses Jane Fairfax to build her social identity, while it also promotes writing as a method for counteracting prescribed identity formation. Refocusing the analysis of Austen's work based on Foucault's work illuminates contentious characters and passages while revealing the ways in which people respond to social pressure.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Schurer, Norbert
Commitee: Carlile, Susan, Hultgren, Neil
School: California State University, Long Beach
Department: English
School Location: United States -- California
Source: MAI 53/06M(E), Masters Abstracts International
Subjects: European history, European Studies, British and Irish literature
Keywords: Austen, jane, Chawton novels, Foucault, michel, Knowledge, Power, Truth
Publication Number: 1566290
ISBN: 9781321237412
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