At the end of Jane Austen’s novels, readers are left with romance and a sense of justice. The good are rewarded with love, money, and a happy ending, while the evil are punished according to their shortcomings.
The justice enacted at the expense of Lydia Bennet, the flirtatious, impulsive, and silly sister of Pride and Prejudice’s Elizabeth Bennet, and Maria Bertram, the vain, classist, and naive cousin of Mansfield Park’s Fanny Price, is not justice at all, even though it feels like the kind of karma readers want to savor.
Their fates are not actually results of their personal faults and poor choices, but the typical, calculated outcome of a cruel patriarchal justice system fueled by an equally unforgiving society. The effects of these “sentences” follow the women and their families forever in a way that modern readers can rarely comprehend, while others reap benefits from their social demise.
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Welcome to the Loyola University Honors Program Senior Research Presentations! On this site we celebrate the accomplishments of the Loyola honors community. All members of the Loyola community are invited to engage with the brilliant research carried out by the University Honors Program class of 2020. Please leave comments and questions for the authors!