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Division of Private and Public In Frances Burneys Journals and Letters the terms self life and writing are used in conjunction with each other Burney uses her writing as a way to tell about her life as well as to create a picture of herself to present to others Burney wants the readers of her letters to see her as a proper lady as one who does what a woman of her time is supposed to do Through Burneys letters and journal entries we are able to see how she defines herself as a person and what defines who she is We are also able to get an inside look at her life and how she views it and feels about it These things she accomplishes just by writing letters and keeping a journal Without Burneys honest and detailed accounts it would be impossible to understand who Frances Burney really is Thus Burneys private thoughts then become a thing for the public to encounter and it can be seen that Burney is writing with the publics opinion in mind Felicity Nussbaum states autobiographical writing though seeming to be a benign search for an essential self affords first a private occasion and later a public forum for attempting to resolve these problems Nussbaum 38 Autobiographical writing seems in Nussbaums opinion to be a search for the authors sense of self through private writing However autobiography in the search for that sense of self then becomes a public forum it becomes something for the public to view and hence define the authors sense of self This is exactly what occurs in Burney She uses her private writings to help her figure out her sense of self of who she is and then her private writings become a public forum for us as readers to make meaning of Frances Burney This is seen in the fact that her autobiography is composed of journal entries and
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