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Published on February 4, 2008

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Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre:  Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre Many Books in One:  Many Books in One Autobiography Fairy Tale Plot Marriage Plot Bildungsroman or Quest Plot Gothic/Mystery Plot Jane Eyre as Autobiography:  Jane Eyre as Autobiography 1816-1854 Parents: Rev. Patrick Brontë + Maria Maria (1814), Elizabeth (1815), Charlotte (1816), Branwell (1817), Emily (1818), Anne (1820) Haworth today Currer, Ellis, and Acton Bell: Charlotte Brontë Emily Brontë Anne Brontë :  Currer, Ellis, and Acton Bell: Charlotte Brontë Emily Brontë Anne Brontë 1847 Jane Eyre as Autobiography Branwell Brontë:  Branwell Brontë Branwell’s painting of Emily, Charlotte, and Anne Branwell’s painting of Emily Jane Eyre as Autobiography Angria:  Angria Box of soldiers given to Branwell (1826 ) Imaginary African world with extensive stories: Glass Town  Angria Obsession . . . “Farewell to Angria” Map of Angria, drawn by Branwell Jane Eyre as Autobiography Reading at the Window Seat: Bewick's History of British Birds (1804):  Reading at the Window Seat: Bewick's History of British Birds (1804) Jane Eyre as Autobiography Education:  Education Clergy Daughter’s School, Cowan Bridge Roe Head School  Lowood School in Jane Eyre Jane Eyre as Autobiography Jane Eyre and the Fairy-Tale Plot:  Jane Eyre and the Fairy-Tale Plot Cinderella--Poor girl with heart of gold oppressed by wicked stepmother and stepsisters gets her chance to meet a Prince and prove her superiority, but not without serious obstacles along the way. Beauty and the Beast?:  Beauty and the Beast? Jane Eyre and the Fairy-Tale Plot Bluebeard:  Bluebeard “I lingered in the long passage to which this [staircase from attic] led, separating the front and back rooms of the third story: narrow, low, and dim, with only one little window at the far end, and looking, with its two rows of small black doors all shut, like a corridor in some Bluebeard’s castle” (91 Norton) Scene from Bela Bartok’s opera: Bluebeard’s Castle Jane as Otherworldly Sprite:  Jane as Otherworldly Sprite Mrs. Reed (22) Rochester (104, passim) Titania’s Awakening by Charles Sims “Poor Orphan Child”:  “Poor Orphan Child” Jane Eyre and the Romance/ Marriage Plot:  Jane Eyre and the Romance/ Marriage Plot “Once upon a time, the end, the rightful end, of women in novel was social—successful courtship, marriage—or judgmental of her sexual and social failure—death.” Rachel DuPlessis Jane Eyre and the Bildung Plot:  Jane Eyre and the Bildung Plot a.k.a. Quest Plot Bildungsroman: growing up story; a novel dealing with the growth and education of the protagonist Typically a male hero, on a journey toward self-realization/independence Often orphaned or presented with other challenges e.g., Dickens’ Great Expectations, David Copperfield Marriage Plot vs. Bildung Plot:  Marriage Plot vs. Bildung Plot Contradictory contemporary views: 19th c. women’s fiction typically ends in the female protagonist’s setting aside the bildung plot by either getting married or dying. (Rachel DuPlessis) 19th c. women’s fiction often shows that through marriage, women and men develop individually by merging of female and male spheres and gender roles. (Chris R. Vanden Bossche) Pride & Prejudice, Emma, Little Women, Wuthering Heights, Return of the Native, Middlemarch, Mill on the Floss, etc. (2 heroines already married, die anyway: Anna Karenina, Madame Bovary) Jane Eyre and the Gothic Plot:  Jane Eyre and the Gothic Plot “Dark Romanticism” Mystery Haunted castle or house Dreaming and nightmares Doppelgänger or alter ego Physical imprisonment Psychological entrapment and helplessness Involvement of the supernatural Psychology of horror and/or terror Henry Fuseli’s The Nightmare, 1781 Mystery:  Mystery Jane Eyre and the Gothic Plot The Byronic Hero:  The Byronic Hero A.K.A. Villain-Hero: Aristocratic, charming, moody, solitary, secretive, intelligent, cynical, and emotionally wounded. Irresistable to women--relationships destructive. Lord Byron by Richard Westall, 1813 Byron in Albanian attire by Thomas Phillips Jane Eyre and the Gothic Plot Byronic heroes of Brontë sisters:  Byronic heroes of Brontë sisters Jane Eyre and the Gothic Plot The Distressed Heroine:  The Distressed Heroine “Female Gothic” Female protagonist is pursued and persecuted by a villainous patriarchal figure in unfamiliar settings and terrifying landscape. The Mysteries of Udolpho by Ann Radcliffe Lady Macbeth by Henry Fuseli 1784 Jane Eyre and the Gothic Plot Architecture of the Mind:  Architecture of the Mind Gothic heroines explore their unknown inner selves as they wander through the mysterious house North Lees Hall, c. 1590 Jane Eyre and the Gothic Plot The Tragedy of the Brontës:  The Tragedy of the Brontës Branwell--addiction to alcohol and opium 1848: Family caught cold/flu leading to 3 deaths Branwell and Emily in 1848; Anne in 1849. 1854: Charlotte married Rev. A.B. Nicholls and died same year (pregnant) Acknowledgements:  Acknowledgements Bossche, Chris R. Vanden. “Moving Out: Adolescence.” In A Companion toVictorian Literature and Culture. Ed. Herbert Tucker. Malden, Mass: Blackwell, 1999. (82-96) DuPlessis, Rachel Blau. Writing Beyond the Ending:Narrative Strategies of Twentieth-Century Women Writers. Blomington: Indiana UP, 1985. Gaskell, Elizabeth. Life of Charlotte Bronte, London: Smith, Elder, 1857. Glossary of Gothic Terms at Georgia Southern University’s Department of English and Philosophy: http://www.georgiasouthern.edu/~dougt/goth.html Hall, Renee. "The DNA of Fairy Tales: Their Origin and Meaning" http://www.theosophy-nw.org/theosnw/world/general/ge-rhall.htm Images: Angria map and woodcut showing school: http://www.beepworld.de/members8/desireebouvier/emilybronte.htm Bewick’s birds: http://www.sharecom.ca/bewick/vignettes/vignettes.html Albanian Byron by Thomas Phillips, 1835: http://englishhistory.net/byron/life.html Charlotte Brontë, from the portrait by George Richmond. BBC Hulton Picture Library. Chalk: http://www.wwnorton.com/nael/victorian/topic_2/illustrations/imbronte.htm Emily Bronte by Branwell Bronte: http://chnm.gmu.edu/ematters/issue8/lathbury/lathbury_body.htm Henry Fuseli paintings: www.artchive.com Acknowledgements, cont. :  Acknowledgements, cont. Jane Eyre, 1996 film stills: http://www.angelfire.com/nc/janeeyre/moviepics.html and http://www.math.utah.edu/~gold/gainsbourg.html Lord Byron at age 25 (1813 portrait by Richard Westall): http://www.csulb.edu/~csnider/brontes.html North Lees Hall, photo: http://www.lovetripper.com/issues/issue-35/jane-eyre.html Portrait by Branwell Brontë of his sisters, Anne, Emily, and Charlotte (c. 1834): http://www.csulb.edu/~csnider/brontes.html Titania’s Awakening by Charles Sims (1873-1928) http://www.modjourn.brown.edu/mjp/Image/Sims/Sims.htm Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre:  Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre

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