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"I always cure you when I come": The Caregiver Figure in the Novels of Jane Austen

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abstract
This thesis will explore the evolution of the caregiver role and its attending difficulties for the characters of Elinor Dashwood, Emma Woodhouse and Anne Elliot in three Jane Austen novels. After reviewing the expected limitations that caregiving imposes on these women, I ultimately propose that Austen posits that caregiving can subversively act as an advantage to women, especially in regards to achieving greater equality between the sexes. Just as others have shown that illness is a dual role than can relegate a patient to a space of victimhood or of power, I argue that Austen slowly infuses caregiving with the same sort of subversive agency. Further, I argue that caregiving, rather than acting as an imperfect bandage that binds the traditional family together, actually assists in radically redefining the notion of family worthy of approbation.
subject
caregiving
Emma
Jane Austen
nursing
Persuasion
Sense and Sensibility
contributor
McKenzie, Kristal (author)
Richard, Jessica (committee chair)
Kairoff, Claudia (committee member)
Jenkins, Melissa (committee member)
date
2016-05-21T08:35:39Z (accessioned)
2016 (issued)
degree
English (discipline)
2021-06-01 (liftdate)
embargo
2021-06-01 (terms)
identifier
http://hdl.handle.net/10339/59280 (uri)
language
en (iso)
publisher
Wake Forest University
title
"I always cure you when I come": The Caregiver Figure in the Novels of Jane Austen
type
Thesis

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