Jane Austen’s Invisible Men: Beyond the Drawing Room
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Eighteenth-century society experienced a transition from an emphasis on the court to a broader social sphere, from monarchical to greater egalitarian parliamentary decisions, a transition of influence from the landed gentry to a rising professional class, and further transitions in masculine behavior and political thought. Jane Austen is one author in the long eighteenth century who provides insight into the human experience of her society through fictional accounts of interactions between men and women, thus providing some opportunity for insight through her works. Male characters enter the narrow confines of Austen’s social spaces shaped by their individual experiences in the masculine networks of larger society, such as military service, family politics, societal political trends and societal conceptualizations of masculinity. Men are a major focus of her stories because the heroines must interact with and develop an understanding of them to determine the nature of further interactions. Investigating the male characters’ broader experiences provides insight into the male experience of the long eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. Therefore, I explore the ways that Austen portrays the unseen lives of her male characters with particular reference to masculine networks and associated thought that influences their actions, as well as their interactions.
DepartmentGraduate Liberal Studies
CitationHutson, Steven Myers (2014). Jane Austen’s Invisible Men: Beyond the Drawing Room. Master's thesis, Duke University. Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10161/9239.
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Rights for Collection: Graduate Liberal Studies