Thomas Paine And Jane Austen: Literary Analysis

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Throughout history cultural changes and ideas have often been reinforced through medians such as literature because it holds the ability to make these transitions feel natural. Literature written by authors such as Martin Luther, Thomas Paine and Jane Austen were able to not only captivate their audiences but also express and instill in them new ideals which eventually lead to a shift in the mindset of society. The writings of these authors not only affected readers during the time period in which these works of literature were originally written and instead continue to have an affect on how individuals view society. Martin Luther questioned the religious teachings of his time in a way that triggered a complete reform of religious institutions…show more content…
Luther had become concerned during his time as a religious teacher because it seemed he saw large amount of excess in the church wherever he went. He saw the organization that was charged with caring for those people within its jurisdiction, physically and spiritually, drain the money and life out of these people through services such as penance and indulgences so they could be forgiven. Yet they made the teaching of the Bible so complicated that the typical peasant could not always clearly understand what was being presented during church services. Unfortunately the Church didn’t seem to notice or care about the corruption with itself as it grew into a more and more powerful political player in European politics. Luther saw a need within the Church to actually teach people about the lessons of the Bible, so he wrote the Small Catechism. The original catechism was used to explain the Catholic religion but was hard for the average person to understand so Luther set out to change that. Using a printing press Luther published several pieces of literature including the Small Catechism which was designed to be readily available and easily comprehended by society at large. Once Luther started to publish his work people started to realize they didn’t need the church to tell them what to…show more content…
Before this shift women tended to at least have some level of equality within marriage since they were heavily involved with the running of not only the home, but also the family business or farm. Instead of relying solely on land as their main source of wealth many men where able to find success in the recent industrial boom and create a salary based income. This shift not only only affected the income of a family but also economic position and inequality between a husband and wife. During this time the social domestic sphere of a woman was established and public opinion believed that woman were only responsible for the rearing of children and caring for the home while men were in charge of matters such as providing for the family financially and participating in matters such as politics. Since this inequality was a relevant issue in her time period Austen found ways to weave her opinion on these issues into her novels by portraying characters that struggled with the issue of employment as the economy shifted to industrialization and appropriate jobs for woman were difficult to find. Austen uses her portrayals of this economic and social inequality in her novel "Emma" to critique the cultural shift that left woman vulnerable since they had no way to provide for themselves.

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