Degree Name

MA (Master of Arts)


Communication, Professional

Date of Award


Committee Chair or Co-Chairs

Wesley Buerkle

Committee Members

Andrew Herrmann,Shawna Lichtenwalner


This analysis is an examination of the use of Jane Austen quotes on the social networking site Pinterest in order to explore the messages disseminated by the dismantling of Austen’s works. Austen’s novels contain subtle feminist ideals that empower women to find their own unique paths. Pinterest has a large female following and the messages created and shared by women hold importance because they highlight salient values and ideas. The quotes collected were analyzed using a feminist rhetorical method. Questions of whether women were empowered outside the private sphere and encouraged to engage in independent thought guided the analysis. Findings indicated that Austen’s words are removed from context in order to reinforce hegemonic ideas of beauty, love, and intelligence. Women can engage in independent thought and exist outside the home as long as they follow socially prescribed rules that create unattainable standards and contradictory dichotomies.

Document Type

Thesis - unrestricted


Copyright by the authors.