SKRIPSI Jurusan Sastra Inggris - Fakultas Sastra UM, 2007

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The Opposition against the Notion of Ideal Women in the Nineteenth Century Reflected Through the Character of Emma Woodhouse in Jane Austen’s Emma

Arcci Tusita


This study is conducted to analyze how the character of Emma
Woodhouse in Jane Austen’s Emma portrays the opposition against the notion of
ideal women in the nineteenth century. In nineteenth century society, the cult of
true womanhood or the cult of domesticity for women had become a great
importance. The cult of true womanhood says that the proper sphere for women
was the home and that women were to be gentile, modest, pure, non-sexual, and to
have intense love for their children. People at that era were to represent the
fundamental virtues of piety, purity, submissiveness, and domesticity of women.
 The main female character, Emma Woodhouse, a descendant of a
very ancient family and an heiress to £30,000, is a clever, proud, self-willed,
arrogant, dominating young woman. While in nineteenth century, a bride and
groom get married without love, Emma iss determined never to marry but only to
marry for love and finds someone superior. By doing that, she wants to show that
married woman is not only as man’s property, she has the right to love and to be
After analyzing the novel, three findings can be found and stated.
First, equality is reflected in Emma's decision to be a matchmaker, which proves
that she has significance and identity as a person, and in effect proves that a
woman may be equal to a man and contribute something to the society. It is also
reflected in her opinion about marriage, that is, she does not want to be the
subordinate of her husband and finally gives Harriet the power to choose. Second,
independence is reflected in Emma’s determination in listening to her own voices
in making judgment and choices whichhas led her to come to the realization of
who she is, and in effect has led her to maturity, in which she takes responsibility
of her choices, be it good or bad. Third, snobbery is reflected in Emma’s thought
of herself being too well and her assuming that she is superior to others,
particularly men.

Teks Penuh: DOC