Why is money an important topic among the lives of Jane Austen's heroines ?
In Literary Women 1976, (67), 71 Ellen Moers writes the following interesting observation about Jane Austen's works
All of Jane Austen's opening paragraphs, and the best of her first sentences, have money in them; this may be the first obviously feminine thing about her novels, for money and its making were characteristically female rather than male subjects in English fiction. . .
Far from negative criticism, Moers offers that Austen's treatment of money as an important part of a woman's chances in society is actually Austen's way to voice her social outcry against the inequality of social rights for women. An early feminist, Austen does not openly shout out in angst against the unfair role of women within society, but she denotes in her novels, with strong detail, that money is, quite clearly and realistically, the ticket to buy their way into it. This is not a bad connotation about women but a realistic...
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If you take many of Jane Austen's heroines especially in Emma and Pride and Prejudice we see the heroines are more concerned towards money, family ranks and social status.
Elizabeth in Pride and Prejudice can be considered as a woman who is matured but she is attracted to Darcy mainly because of the money. If we take the very opening sentence of the novel this fact can be clearly seen. In the case of Emma, the heroine is toomuch interested in money and social customs.