Date Thesis Awarded


Access Type

Honors Thesis -- Access Restricted On-Campus Only

Degree Name

Bachelors of Arts (BA)




Kim Wheatley

Committee Members

Elizabeth Barnes

Brett Wilson

Kathrin Levitan


This paper investigates the flaws which Jane Austen sees within the landed gentry and examines how she uses the form of the courtship novel, with its emphasis on the heroine's viewpoint, to both point out the gentry's problems and pose a solution. Looking at Mansfield Park, Emma, and Persuasion together shows how Austen becomes increasingly dissatisfied with the landed gentry and changes her opinion of the necessary solution from endogamous marriage to exogamous marriage. Courtship and marriage provide the means for revitalization of the landed gentry, and through the implications of the heroines' marriages Austen assesses the feasibility of her proposals for reform.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication 1.0 License.


Thesis is part of Honors ETD pilot project, 2008-2013. Migrated from Dspace in 2016.

On-Campus Access Only