Lake Forest Papers

Document Type


Date of Award

Fall 2018


All-College Writing Contest

Author Comments

Austen has long been one of my favorite novelists, so I welcomed this opportunity to relate her work to my passion for psychology. One of the central themes that we explored in this course was the idea that novels can bring to life abstract psychological or philosophical theories of happiness. I believe that Austen, in particular, excelled in this area; her keen social insight and emotional intelligence add richness and psychological depth to her novels. In Emma, Austen goes beyond merely describing her heroine’s journey toward self-actualization. Rather, through realistic and nuanced characterization, as well as clever narrative style, she takes readers along on that journey, allowing them to experience vicariously Emma Woodhouse’s growth toward happiness and personal fulfillment. My understanding of Maslow, of literature, and of life is richer for having studied this novel.

Faculty Advisor

Carla Arnell



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