This dissertation aims to analyze the major characters of Jane Austen’s novels Pride and Prejudice and Emma through the perspective of Carl G. Jung’s Theory of Individuation. The analysis is based on application to Austen’s narratives of Jung’s two major attitudes of personality, extroversion and introversion. Within these broad categories the thesis breaks the characterization into four psychological functions: thinking, feeling, sensing and intuiting. According to Jung’s Analytical Psychology, the psyche consists of both the conscious and the unconscious mind which are structured by ego, the personal unconscious and the collective unconscious. The archetypes remaining within the unconscious mind are referred to in my study when focusing on the characters’ inner worlds that retain their repressed conflicts and feelings. Thus, the thesis shows how the heroines and heroes in Austen’s novels of manners and moral progress reach their full maturity by following psychological steps closely embodying Jung’s models. The thesis consists of four chapters. The introduction part consists of the ideas of the thesis and sets Jung in context, detailing the key Jungian concepts to be used. The first chapter sets out Austen’s literary context, the evolving form of the novel, and the significance of the focus on individuality and self-development, and the complexities any such focus meets in trying to portray character in action. The second chapter deals principally with the idea of the extroverted character type, how this character type relates to others, and what obstacles it faces and steps it needs to take to find its mature inner self and true fulfilment in a story based on the pursuit of love. Chapter two relates these ideas to Pride and Prejudice and Emma. Chapter three then approaches the novels from the perspective of how predominantly introverted character types encounter the world and others, what difficulties their character type meets, and how they are able to overcome them and grow. Chapter four stands back from the novels to take an overview of how literature and psychology overlapped over time, especially in the modern age, and how the form of the novel that Austen helped to define was particularly close to the modern psychology that followed it. The last part offers conclusions about how the growth of the novel and Austen’s narratives in particular helped to define what modern knowledge considers the structure and the needs of the inner life of the human individual. It discusses the key points where Jung and Austen meet in her novels, and where they diverge too.
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