Scalpato, Lauren Ann. “Overcoming Anonymity”, Boston College, 2004. http://hdl.handle.net/2345/452.
In nineteenth-century England, women were struggling to find an outlet for the intelligence, emotions, and creativity that the patriarchal society around them continuously stifled. For women such as Jane Austen and Charlotte Brontë, writing served as an opportunity to defy restrictive social structures and offered a needed public voice. By expressing their own thoughts and frustrations, Austen and Brontë helped to overcome the anonymity imposed upon women of their time, as they illuminated the female experience. The following paper takes a look at the ways in which Austen and Brontë imparted autobiographical elements to their female characters, as both authors underwent important catharses and inspired the women around them. To this day, their literature provides critical insight into the troubled existence of the nineteenth-century woman, while revealing their own struggles with their constricted identities.