Honors Theses

Date of Award


Document Type

Undergraduate Thesis



First Advisor

Erin Drew

Second Advisor

Jason Solinger

Third Advisor

Deanna Kreisel

Relational Format



This thesis aims to analyze the implications of the marriage market in Jane Austen’s novels Northanger Abbey, Sense and Sensibility and Emma. In these books, the main focus will be on Isabella Thorpe, who is actively participating in the “game” of the marriage market, Charlotte Palmer, who has won the “game” of marriage, and Miss Bates, who has lost the “game” of marriage. The historical context of these situations, taking place in eighteenth and nineteenth century England, has been taken into account. Austen has created characters to demonstrate the many aspects of a female’s life and how it relates to their marital status. Additionally, Austen critiques the structures of marriage and the female experience, as a whole. Economic and social security are the driving forces for taking part in the marriage market, and Austen has shown the harsh realities of the English culture she experienced.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 4.0 International License.



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