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Conference Proceeding

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Edward. T. Hall argues that, “we treat Space (somewhat) as we treat Sex. It is “there” but we don‟t talk about it” (in Felipe 210). Understandably so, talking about space or sex might indeed appear as the first attempt to shatter these borders or boundaries that protect ourselves from the others‟ intrusion onto our individual need for privacy. Borders, it is true, are useful, even necessary. They tell us where one thing ends and another begins. They draw the line between what belongs to whom and what does not. They tell us who claims what and how far these claims extend. And if it is true that Sex is not openly treated in Jane Austen‟s novels (we can easily imagine how the society of her time would have reacted), the question of space, however, is of prime importance, for indeed the borders that “situate” and often “limit” or “contain” our heroes and heroines do play a very important role in Austenian plots, if not the most important one. As Johnson argues: Austen‟s characters always experience embarrassment, expectations, anger, agitation, discomfort, and pleasure in small but very intense spaces” (46).


Presented at Graduate English Association New Voices Conference 2007, pp. 1-15.