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Jane Austen, Game Theorist$
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Michael Suk-Young Chwe

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780691162447

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691162447.001.0001

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Jane Austen’s Six Novels

Jane Austen’s Six Novels

(p.49) Chapter Five Jane Austen’s Six Novels
Jane Austen, Game Theorist

Michael Suk-Young Chwe

Princeton University Press

This chapter analyzes Jane Austen's six novels, arguing that each is a chronicle of how a heroine learns to think strategically. For example, in Northanger Abbey, Catherine Morland must learn to make her own independent choices in a sequence of increasingly important situations, and in Emma, Emma Woodhouse learns that pride in one's strategic skills can be just another form of cluelessness. In Pride and Prejudice, people's strategic abilities develop the least. Sense and Sensibility explores through the sisters Elinor and Marianne Dashwood how strategic thinking requires both thoughtful decision-making and fanciful speculation. The chapter also examines Persuasion and Mansfield Park. In all six novels, Austen theorizes how people, growing from childhood into adult independence, learn strategic thinking.

Keywords:   novels, Jane Austen, Northanger Abbey, cluelessness, Pride and Prejudice, Sense and Sensibility, speculation, Persuasion, Mansfield Park, strategic thinking

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