Graduation Year


Document Type

Open Access Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts



Reader 1

Thomas Koenigs

Reader 2

Sarah Raff

Reader 3

Christine Crockett

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Rights Information

© 2015 Rachel S. Grate


In this thesis, I claim that the gaze is central to the courtship process in Austen’s novels. I also propose that an analysis of the gaze is crucial to understanding the gendered power dynamics that are central to these relationships. We tend to think of male gazers as having all the power, but one of Austen’s subversive arguments is that women can also be subjects of the gaze and transform through it. However, limits exist to their power. As I will argue, while men are able to simply project their transformative gaze, women must first use their gaze to perceive their societal position before successfully having a transformative effect.