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Virginia Wesleyan College
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Student Research Projects

Single Parents in Jane Austen

Student Tiffany Cowart
Faculty Mentor(s)
Department English
Course English 441: The Novels of Jane Austen


The research project was to find themes and/or patterns in novels by Jane Austen and explain their significance toward the “Austen Ideal”. Ineffectual single parents occur in five (Northanger Abbey, Sense and Sensibility, Emma, Persuasion and Pride and Prejudice) of the six novels. My thesis is that the single parents are ineffectual due to lack of balance that would be present from the absent parent. The research also focuses on how the family unit is affected by this imbalance.

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