Topic: The Importance of Home and Family in Jane Austen’s Life and Works
In all of Jane Austen’s fiction, home and family play a significant though complex role, sometimes providing nurture, sometimes (even simultaneously) a sense of constriction. Explore the importance of home and/or family in Austen’s novels or juvenilia. Possible angles might include:
How Austen uses siblings to further plot, character development, and theme;
How the needs of courting couples might conflict with the demands of their families;
Austen’s response to the images of home and family portrayed by other writers; or
Her representation of vexed social, economic, legal, or political issues through her images of home and family.
NOTE: Only first-place essays were published online prior to 2012.
The Jane Austen Society of North America is dedicated to the enjoyment and appreciation of Jane Austen and her writing. JASNA is a nonprofit organization, staffed by volunteers, whose mission is to foster among the widest number of readers the study, appreciation, and understanding of Jane Austen’s works, her life, and her genius. We have over 5,000 members of all ages and from diverse walks of life. Although most live in the United States or Canada, we also have members in more than a dozen other countries.