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Discerning the Attraction of Jane Austen’s Literary Heroes

Jane Austen is one of the most influential authors whose works are still enjoyed in the 21st century, more than two hundred years after she published her books. She has helped pave the path for female writers through her intricate plots, charismatic characters, and awe inspiring scenery. The driving forces behind her novels are her genuine and understandable heroines. The women are thoroughly explored, expertly portrayed and convey beautiful additions to the surrounding plot.

On the other hand, the heroes that are portrayed in each story are less obviously understood in the terms of their attraction when relating to 21st century society.

Nevertheless, Fitzwilliam Darcy, and George Knightly are some of the most famous romantic heroes that prevail in English literature. They were considered “ideal gentlemen” of their time period, and are also loved and desired today. Due to the elitism, hierarchy, and patriarchy reigning in the Regency era, the dominant aspects of these men and their monetary values would have contributed to their attraction. This paper argues that the attraction of the heroes have lasted and grown throughout the two hundred years since original publication because of their affection towards the heroine’s family, their passionate speeches of true love, and relativity equal treatment of the heroine herself, perhaps in spite of the heroes era-dependent charms.

Keywords: Jane Austen, Literary Heroes, British Literature, Pride and Prejudice, female authors, attraction, Mr. Darcy


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  • Subject
    • English

  • Institution
    • Dahlonega

  • Event location
    • Nesbitt 3101

  • Event date
    • 25 March 2016

  • Date submitted

    18 July 2022

  • Additional information
    • Acknowledgements:

      Donna Gessell