Miss Emily Themes & Motifs

Nuala O'Connor
This Study Guide consists of approximately 44 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of Miss Emily.
This section contains 4,349 words
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Women’s Roles in Society

This novel uses the three female characters of Emily, Ada, and Susan to explore the Victorian restrictions placed on woman and the powerlessness that they often experienced.

Firstly, the author demonstrates how Emily’s creative skills and passion for literature are repressed due to social conventions surrounding gender. Emily possesses a unique gift for poetry and spends her days enthralled in her craft. She chooses not to marry, assuming a husband and babies would take up too much of her time and attention: “Convention never has been, and never will be, my first choice. I have not chosen to live as woman is supposed to life” (39). And yet, she faces criticism for her choice. Her eccentricity and unsociability are deemed unwomanly, and Austin is displeased by the gossip she attracts to the family. Her father, who can relate to her intellectualism, nevertheless...

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This section contains 4,349 words
(approx. 11 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Miss Emily Study Guide
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