Honors Senior Theses/Projects

Date of Award

Fall 2019

Exit Requirement

Undergraduate Honors Thesis/Project


Honors Program

Faculty Advisor

Thomas Rand

Honors Program Director

Dr. Gavin Keulks


As an author, Jane Austen has remained hugely popular with audiences worldwide ever since her death over two hundred years ago. Her novels—charming, thought-provoking, and witty—have showcased numerous heroines whose unique personalities recommend them to a wide variety of readers. This exploration, in particular, focuses on the inner lives of Anne Elliot and Elizabeth Bennet, the protagonists from Persuasion and Pride and Prejudice. Through utilizing writing techniques such as free indirect discourse in these novels, Austen was an early pioneer in crafting characters whose innermost thoughts were accessible to her readers. In order to explore the development of these characters’ inner lives, I constructed a framework with which to examine the moments where they display characteristics of interiority. From analyzing instances of characters seeking solitude to them showing regret about past attitudes, items in this framework provide a structure that helps me to examine how these characters’ respective moments of interiority endear them to Austen’s readers. This analysis aims to encourage a broader discussion regarding the portrayal of characters’ interior lives in novels and the impact that such portrayals can have in forming connections with readers.