Contributing writer for The Artifice.
Junior Contributor I
Jane Austen's Emma as a Representation of an Independent Woman
Jane Austen was a pioneer of her time for writing and literature, and often wrote about women from different backgrounds dealing with issues regarding marriage, family, and wealth. Her novel Emma focuses on Emma Woodhouse, who was unlike other characters that Austen had written about because she was wealthy and has no aspiration or need to marry due to her status as a wealthy woman.
I am curious about to the extent of which Emma can be considered an independent woman in Austen’s novel. Looking back on women’s lives in the Regency Era, it is supported that Emma had a unique and uncommon status compared to most women in her time.
It is important to understand that Emma Woodhouse is a complex character who is unique among Jane Austen’s heroines. While she is beautiful, intelligent, and rich, she is too inexperienced to use her power and influence well which leads to several serious issues.
Can Emma stand as an example for women who face a changing England at the beginning of the nineteenth century? I think it’s important to draw attention to the importance of women’s status in society before the dawn of the new century.