The purpose of this thesis is to compare an early well-developed heroine, Elizabeth Bennet in Pride and Prejudice, with a late well-developed heroine, Anne Elliot in Persuasion, in Jane Austen's novels to see if there are any changes in characterization and techniques of characterization and to evaluate these techniques.
In Chapter One, I have shown that throughout the nineteenth century from the time of publication, critics commented on Jane Austen's ability to create realistic characters. Not until the twentieth century, however, was Jane Austen's work evaluated critically. Twentieth century critics agree that she was a master at character portrayal.
In Chapter Two, I have shown how Anne and Elizabeth are the same, how Elizabeth develops characteristics that Jane Austen gives Anne throughout Persuasion, and how the two heroines are shown to be different. The differences between Anne and Elizabeth are mainly differences in personality rather than differences in values or mental ability.
In Chapter Three, I have shown that Jane Austen uses dialog, action, other characters, author exposition, and thought processes to reveal her characters. My comparison of an early well-developed heroine, Elizabeth in Pride and Prejudice, with a later well-developed heroine, Anne in Persuasion, shows that Austen uses these same methods with both heroines but with different emphasis for each. For example, Austen reveals Elizabeth mostly through dialog in the first half of Pride and Prejudice and with thought processes and some dialog in the last half. Anne, however, is revealed almost entirely by thought processes with some reliance on dialog and author exposition. One reason for this change to the use of thought processes is that Austen has Elizabeth, who is a dynamic character, begin to develop in the last part of Pride and Prejudice the characteristics that Austen shows Anne to have throughout Persuasion and that Austen values. When the thought processes are used, the heroines have no one in whom they can confide their thoughts so the only way the author can show the progress of the plot is through the thought processes.
In Chapter Four, I have summarized Chapters One, Two, and Three.
Delmer I. Davis
J. Paul Stauffer
Robert P. Dunn
Master of Arts (MA)
Year Degree Awarded
Date (Title Page)
Library of Congress/MESH Subject Headings
Austen, Jane, 1775-1817--Characters--Women; Austen, Jane, 1775-1817--Criticism and interpretation.
Loma Linda University Libraries
This title appears here courtesy of the author, who has granted Loma Linda University a limited, non-exclusive right to make this publication available to the public. The author retains all other copyrights.
Moore, Janet R., "A Comparison of Jane Austen's Early and Late Characterization" (1973). Loma Linda University Electronic Theses, Dissertations & Projects. 1072.
Loma Linda University Electronic Theses and Dissertations
Loma Linda University. Del E. Webb Memorial Library. University Archives