Radovan Košč 348025
PhDr. Věra Pálenská, CSc.
AJ14050 British Woman Writers 17th to 19th Century
Frances's Burney's Evelina and Jane Austen's Emma belong among the most interesting epistolary novels which depict very strong, original and independent female individuals. Both literary works contain numerous similar themes including depiction of eighteenth century politics, society, various ways of entertainment and gathering in this society, or relationship between members of that society and nevertheless moral, social and sexual development of the main characters. The first part of this essay aims at Burney's Evelina who is seventeen years old, virtuous, innocent and ignorant of the fashionable society that she is entering, while the second part focuses on twenty-one year old daughter of a wealthy gentleman Emma. In the conclusion there is a comparison of these two extraordinary characters from which Evelina comes as a person who does not like the social games and Emma as the one who enjoys it.
When Frances Burney wrote Evelina in the eighteenth century, she was able to capture the essence of what it meant to be a female at this time in history. Throughout the novel, the character of Evelina captures the hearts of those around her. Mr. Villars describes Evelina as "this artless young creature, with too much beauty to escape notice" . The character of Evelina encompasses the traits attributed to the description of the female gender. These traits include a focus on the importance of reputation; a lack of passion; and distinct physical attributes. Above all else, Evelina holds her reputation in highest regards.
Eighteenth century literature focuses on the belief that an individual's external behavior reflected his or her interior belief system. In "An Essay on Man," Alexander Pope writes, "Know then thyself, presume not God to scan / The proper study of mankind is man" (II. 1-2). Eighteenth century society judges individuals based on their...