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"Forced on Exertion"

Title: "Forced on Exertion": Employment and Boredom in Austen's Sense and Sensibility.
Name(s): Yaun, Katherine, author
Walker, Eric, professor directing thesis
Faulk, Barry, committee member
Warren, Nancy, committee member
Department of English, degree granting department
Florida State University, degree granting institution
Type of Resource: text
Genre: Text
Issuance: monographic
Date Issued: 2004
Publisher: Florida State University
Florida State University
Place of Publication: Tallahassee, Florida
Physical Form: computer
online resource
Extent: 1 online resource
Language(s): English
Abstract/Description: This thesis examines the employment choices available to single women on a typical 19th-century Georgian estate, represented by Barton Park in Jane Austen's Sense and Sensibility. The word "employment" appears more than 65 times in her six novels, with approximately 13 references in Sense and Sensibility. Although "employment" signifies a variety of meanings throughout Austen's work, in this study I analyze the word's significations of a single concept, a concentrated activity contributing to a larger, individually-motivated project. Austen's repeated usage of "employment," coupled with her satiric exposure of Lady Middleton, indicate an underlying consciousness of the tensions associated with the landed gentry's elite status as a leisure class and the culture of boredom that permeated the estate, precluding the normalization of employment. In this work, I focus on a particular slice of the traditional private/public scholarship on 19th century British literature and argue that both male and female estate residents locate themselves in multiple positions along the continuum between boredom and employment. I analyze the characters of Lady Middleton, Elinor and Marianne Dashwood and Edward Ferrars in order to understand the variety of possible cultural responses to this continuum that Austen offers her audience. Sense and Sensibility, Austen's first published novel, tangibly exemplifies an employment choice available to single women of the landed gentry – reading and writing satire – and thus revises the intangible "nothingness" of Lady Middleton's boredom satirized in the novel.
Identifier: FSU_migr_etd-0990 (IID)
Submitted Note: A Thesis submitted to the Department of English in partial fulfillment of the Requirements for the degree of Master of Arts.
Degree Awarded: Degree Awarded: Fall Semester, 2004.
Date of Defense: Date of Defense: October 27, 2004.
Keywords: Employment, Georgian Estates, Boredom
Bibliography Note: Includes bibliographical references.
Advisory committee: Eric Walker, Professor Directing Thesis; Barry Faulk, Committee Member; Nancy Warren, Committee Member.
Subject(s): English literature
Persistent Link to This Record:
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Host Institution: FSU

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Yaun, K. (2004). "Forced on Exertion": Employment and Boredom in Austen's Sense and Sensibility. Retrieved from