Comparing Male Dominance in Pride and Prejudice, Mansfield Park, and Emma

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Support of Male Dominance in Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice, Mansfield Park, and Emma

While there is no shortage of male opinions concerning the role of females, which usually approve of male dominance, there is a lack of women expressing views on their forced subservience to men. This past subordination is the very reason there were so few females who plainly spoke out against their position, and the search for females expressing the desire for independence necessarily extends to the few historical works by women that do exist. Jane Austen is a well-known female author, and it is natural that her novels would be studied in an attempt to find a covert feminist voice. However, though certain feminist elements may exist, one
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So, Mrs. Bennet takes control of the family, with the "business of her life" being to get her daughters married (3). This responsibility and her authority to make sure her daughters are married result in unscrupulous behavior that uses almost any means necessary to fulfil this duty (3). She forces Jane to ride in the rain to Netherfield so she will become ill and be forced to stay there with Mr. Bingley (26). She encourages Lydia to follow the regiment to Brighton despite the fact that this would cause her to become a "most determined flirt" (205). And she threatens Elizabeth that she will never see her again if she does not marry Mr. Collins, a man she does not love or respect (100). Because of her power, Mrs. Bennet practices many immoral and dishonest methods that cause emotional and physical harm to her daughters.

Lady Catherine de Bourgh, is much more powerful than Mrs. Bennet because she is wealthy and is a widow, and is therefore free to rule as she pleases. Her wealth is a form of power because money makes it possible to influence others by offering to bestow it and threatening to retain it. And her high social standing is a form of power, because middle and working class people are wary of offending the aristocracy, and would therefore do most anything she wants. Her importance leads her to believe that she is superior to everyone else, has the right to interfere in

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