2018 Student Research Conference:
31st Annual Student Research Conference

Jane Austen’s Satire as a Window to the English Leisure Class in Emma

Sarah K. Holtmeyer
Dr. Hena Ahmad, Faculty Mentor

This paper examines the ways in which Jane Austen’s satire showcases the English upper class. It argues that Austen maintains many of the ideals of Enlightenment thinkers, such as Adam Smith.  Austen interprets the social politics and class distinctions of the world in which she lives through exposing the loss of "morality" of the materialistic and wealthy elite.  Her cornerstone novel Emma reflects upon the wrongful superiority that her heroine Emma exhibits and works to exonerate her through the power of socially marginalized characters such as Harriet Smith, Jane Fairfax, and Miss Bates. 

Keywords: Jane Austen, Satire, Emma, Social Capital, Wealth, Morality, Virtue, Materialism


Presentation Type: Oral Paper

Session: 303-3
Location: MG 1096
Time: 1:30

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