Jane Austen Parent-Child Relationships

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Jane Austen & Parent-Child Relationships Just as there are no two people in this world are exactly the same, the equivalent is true for families. Even though there can be very distinct similarities found, every family is constructed in its own unique manner. They all face their own set of issues, handle problems differently, and interact with one another in many different ways. The dynamics of a family can be influenced by their surroundings, environment, circumstances, social-economic status, and other factors such as these. Through her novels, Jane Austen shows how these factors effect parenting style and overall the success and life choices of the child. In today’s society there are many aid available to help the child raising process. They all share a common outline on what is considered proper childrearing and how to build a close bond with your kids for a positive relationship. However in Jane Austen’s era, parents seemed to take a different approach in having a very distinguished “Parent-Child” relationship and less like a companion with emotional ties. This set the stage, and greatly influenced the parenting figures found in Jane Austen’s novels. During the eighteenth century families tended to be fairly large containing over a dozen children. This was mainly because the mortality rate was so high due to what at that time was incurable illnesses. In the sixteenth and seventeenth century “Most children died in their early stages of childhood and therefore many parents deemed it useless to enter into close relationships with their children” (Vink, 11). Children spent most of their time with the nurses, nurses, or governess making them have a closer bond with them more so than their own family. Parents soon began to notice that no matter how short the life span of the child, the child still withheld value and began to try to build some sort of bond.

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