We look at the idea of an independent woman as an idea associated with modernity, but there are a few Olivia Pope-minded women hidden in older literature. The eighteenth and early nineteenth-century writer, Jane Austen, had visions of more than just love and marriage. She had an imagination that far surpassed her time, one that included a few strong women who didn’t need men, didn’t dream of marriage, pursued their passions for their own enjoyment, and who were “made for a boss, only a boss-anything less, she’s telling him to get lost” (Hi Neyo).
In a class at the University of Pennsylvania, I’ve been reading all of Jane Austen’s novels and most recently, I read Emma. Austen’s novel Emma is about a young girl with high standards and substantial self-worth. She is unimpressed by the men around her and decides that the man that she marries has to not only be on her level, but also be able to love her for her. Published in 1815, applicable in 2012, this novel can teach many young women a thing or two about love, putting it into perspective and recognizing it when its true. In addition to Emma, check out: Sense and Sensibility and Pride and Prejudice because Jane Austen is an author that every girl will love!
By Gwendolyn Lewis