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Information about Jane_Eyre_by_Charlotte_Bronte

Published on December 17, 2008

Author: aSGuest6958

Source: authorstream.com

Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte : Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte Emma, Ben, Rachel, Annie, Rosalind, Carolyn, Hannah, and Daniel A Short Biography of Charlotte Brontë : A Short Biography of Charlotte Brontë Born on April 21, 1816, in Thronton, England, Brontë was the third of six children. Her father was Reverend Patrick Brontë. In 1821, when Brontë was only five years old, her mother died of cancer and her sister took up the role of raising the children. While attending Cowan Bridge School, two of her sisters, Maria and Elizabeth, died. Shortly after this, she and her other sister attending, Emily, returned home. Brontë and her siblings were kept knowledgeable of current events through their father, among which was the 1829 parliamentary debate on the Catholic Question. Brontë also had the library of a nearby town to read and enjoy. Emma White A Short Biography of Charlotte Brontë : A Short Biography of Charlotte Brontë She went on to learn at Miss Wooler’s school in Roe Head, returning afterwards for three years as a teacher. She then worked as a governess before traveling to Brussels with her sister Emily. They had wanted to found their own school, but returned to Haworth in 1844 instead. Two years later, Brontë and her sisters published their collection of poems using male pseudonyms as was normal for female authors at the time. Jane Eyre was published in 1847 and won immediate praise. By 1849, Brontë’s remaining siblings had died. She married Arthur Bell Nicholls in 1854, but died less than a year later on March 31, 1855. She was only 38 years old. Emma White Works Cited : Works Cited Brontë, Charlotte. Jane Eyre. New York: Barnes & Noble Books, 2003. [“CHARLOTTE BRONTË” (first few unnumbered pages)] Emma White Historical/Social perspective : Historical/Social perspective Industrial Revolution Wealth changes from land ownership to manufacturing England is the first industrialized country Social values change Queen Victoria dictates the changes in society, which becomes overly proper and closed minded Literacy becomes commonplace Education is compulsory “Middle class” values predominate social discussions The novel form of writing comes to be popular. Ben Lehman Works Cited : Works Cited http://media-2.web.britannica.com/eb-media/21/82421-004-21842B2B.jpg Ben Lehman Slide 7: The Public’s Response to Jane Eyre in 1847 When first published in 1847, Jane Eyre was a bestseller Critics believed the book to be well written but there was curiosity regarding the author - The book was originally printed with Currer Bell as the editor and no other information given about the author - The gender of the author was debated and when it was released that the author was a woman reviews of the book became increasingly negative - This negativity came from the shock that a woman could have “written such a passionate novel and seemed so knowing sexually” (Brooklyn CUNY Jane Eyre) Rachel Wilensky Reviews : Reviews The reviewer for the Atlas in 1847 claimed: “This is not merely a work of great promise; it is one of absolute performance. It is one of the most powerful domestic romances which have been published for many years. It has little or nothing of the old conventional stamp upon it ... but it is full of youthful vigour, of freshness and originality, of nervous diction and concentrated interest. The incidents are sometimes melo-dramatic, and, it might be added, improbable; but these incidents, though striking, are subordinate to the main purpose of the piece, which is a tale of passion, not of intensity which is most sublime. It is a book to make the pulses gallop and the heart beat, and to fill the eyes with tears.” (Brooklyn CUNY Jane Eyre) The reviewer for the Rambler in 1848 claimed: “Jane Eyre is, indeed, one of the coarsest books which we ever perused. It is not that the professed sentiments of the writer are absolutely wrong or forbidding, or that the odd sort of religious notions which she puts forth are much worse than is usual in popular tales. It is rather that there is a tendency to relapse into that class of ideas, expressions, and circumstances, which is most connected with the grosser and more animal portion of our nature; and that the detestable morality of the most prominent character in the story is accompanied with every sort of palliation short of unblushing justification” (Brooklyn CUNY Jane Eyre) Rachel Wilensky Works Cited : Works Cited Melani, Lilia. "Charlotte Bronte "Jane Eyre"." Brooklyn CUNY. 29 March 2005. Brooklyn CUNY Department of English. 8 Nov 2008 <http://academic.brooklyn.cuny.edu/english/melani/cs6/bronte.html>. Rachel Wilensky Plot Summary : Plot Summary Jane Eyre’s Childhood Up until age 9, Jane lived with her cousins and her aunt: her parents died, but her uncle took her in Following some violent reactions, Jane is sent to a “charity” school. She makes her first real friend, Helen Jean, unfortunately Helen dies. Jane Eyre’s Teenage years Jane grows to become a teacher at her childhood school Jane transfers to becoming a governess at Thornfield, where she tutors Adele Jane meets Mr. Rochester, who becomes infatuated with her Relations with Mr. Rochester Mr. Rochester proposes to Jane During the Marriage, however the marriage was stopped when an attendee stated that Mr. Rochester had a previous wife Bertha, who had been causing trouble (setting Mr. Rochester’s bed on fire) was revealed to Jane, and Jane left Annie Hart Plot Summary : Plot Summary The Cousins Trying to prove that she can live independently, Jane ends up knocking on the door of her long lost cousins, which includes St. John, who falls in love with her Jane discovers that she is rich, 20,000 pounds, and splits it with St. John and her cousins St. John proposes to Jane, but Jane rejects him The End Jane goes back to Mr. Rochester She finds Mr. Rochester is blind and Bertha is dead, due to a house fire at Thornfield that Bertha caused Jane and Mr. Rochester marry!!! Annie Hart Themes : Themes Religion Mr. Brocklehurst, Helen, and St. John represent different interpretations of Christianity - Brocklehurst: Extreme sacrifice and hypocrisy - Helen: God’s goodness and power of love - St. John: Sacrifice and dedication to God’s will ? fate Religion shapes Jane’s reactions - Her decision to leave Mr. Rochester - St. John’s attempts to persuade Jane into marriage - Her treatment of Mrs. Reed Story stresses importance of finding your own interpretation Social Class vs. Equality Much of Jane’s childhood reinforces her position as member of “lower class” (life at Lowood and Mrs. Reed’s attitude) Defines her relationship with Mr. Rochester - Servant vs. Master - Marries his equal in personality not fortune Complete reverse of fortune at end of the story Rosalind Mowitt Themes : Themes Gender Roles The significance of “the crazy lady in the attic” ? Victorian Women Jane’s quest is to become an independent woman - Every person she’s with tries to control her - “Women are supposed to be very calm generally: but women feel just as men feel; they need exercise for their faculties and a field for their efforts as much as their brothers do…It is narrow-minded in their more privileged fellow-creatures to say that they ought to confine themselves to making puddings and knitting stockings… It is thoughtless to condemn them, or laugh at them, if they seek to do more or learn more than costume has pronounced necessary for their sex.” (Bronte, 93) - Goes back to Rochester when the reversal of fortune’s occurs (he needs her help now, he can’t control her as much) - Story addresses the complex nature of gender roles (she is only independent by inheritance) Human Nature vs. Duty Many of the characters spend their time trying/being told to control their desires - Jane as a child is repeatedly scolded into submission - Adele is being taught to behave “responsibly” - Jane’s decision to leave Mr. Rochester - St. John’s decision to not marry Ms. Oliver (sacrifice in the name of responsibility) - St. John’s attempts to propose to Jane - Much of Jane’s inner monologue as a child is about how she wants more, she isn’t content in her surroundings “It is vain to say human beings ought to be satisfied with tranquility: they must have action; and they will make it if they cannot find it…” (93) Jane comes to terms with the fact that it’s okay not to sacrifice everything Rosalind Mowitt Criticism of Jane Eyre : Criticism of Jane Eyre Positive Considered a brilliant novel that captivates the reader “The reader is immediately captivated by the spunky hero” (Jerome Beaty) Displays gender and class issues and provides prospective for even the modern viewer Emily Bronte’s writing styles draws in her audience “It is impossible to know to what extent we do not know Jane, but it is possible to recognize the strategies with which she convinces us we do” (Lisa Sternlieb) Negative Nothing more than a good story with no real substance Some criticize Charlotte Bronte’s style of directly addressing the reader “And reader, do you think I feared him in his blind ferocity?” (Chp. XXXVII) Ignores the real world in favor of entertainment “Charlotte Bronte does not attempt to solve the problems of human life; she is even unaware that such problems exist” (Virginia Woolf) “Certainly Charlotte Bronte was never again to indulge in quite such optimistic imagining” (Sandra M. Gilbert Considered disappointing compared to Wuthering Heights Carolyn Sween Questions : Questions Questions raised by the book: What is a woman’s expected position in society and how did Jane Eyre fit or not fit into this position? Jane is independent, religious, consistent, and moral What was the real purpose of women’s education during the mid-1800s? Lowood school is used to teach girls how to be lower class Adele, a wealthy child, receives a purely superficial education How were people with a mental illness viewed and treated by society and by those in the book? Mr. Rochester has no where to put his insane wife, Bertha, and is forced to keep her locked up in the attic Not only is Bertha described as being insane and vicious, but she is also described as physically deformed because of her mental condition Was is possible for women to be self-sufficient? Jane can only survive when working or living off of others (Mrs. Reed, the Lowood School, Mr. Rochester, St. John) Hannah Mack Discussion Points : Discussion Points Social Issues Gender Equality: Jane writes “Not that I humbled myself by a slavish notion of inferiority: on the contrary, I just said – You have nothing to do with the master of Thornfield further than to receive the salary he gives you for teaching his protégée,” showing her refusal to be subjugated, after she had just noted how she missed Mr. Rochester’s presence (Bronte, 17) “I love you better now, when I can really be useful to you , than I did in your state of proud independence, when you disdained every part but that of the giver and protector.” Jane finally allows herself to embrace Mr. Rochester after they are both finally free of Thornfield, Bertha and the many other issues that kept them apart before (37) Classism: “Come, we will sit there in peace to-night, though we should never more be destined to sit there together.” Mr. Rochester tells Jane this truth, although he uses it to ask to marry Jane and flaunt the social norms that he just described (23) “And if God had gifted me with some beauty and much wealth, I should have made it as hard for you to leave me, as it is now for me to leave you…and we stood at God’s feet, equal-as we are!” Jane’s fiery emotions show her beliefs that ‘some beauty’ but mainly ‘much wealth’ has kept them apart even though they are equals (23) When speaking of being bejeweled by Rochester, Jane retorts “And then you won’t know me, sir; and I shall not be your Jane Eyre any longer, but an ape in a harlequin’s jacket, a jay in borrowed plumes. This passage shows Jane’s reluctance to relinquish her identity, and settle for nothing less than Rochester’s marriage of Jane Eyre, not a dressed up prize or object (24) Daniel Preus Discussion Points : Discussion Points Personal Issues Morality: “You shall see what sort of being I was cheated into espousing, and judge whether or not I had a right to break the compact, and seek sympathy with something at least human.” (26) “All is changed about me, sir; I must change, too-there is no doubt of that; and to avoid fluctuations of feeling, and continual combats with recollections and associations, there is only one way-Adele must have a new governess, sir.” Jane explains why she must leave Rochester and Thornfield because of the wrongs surrounding the residence (27) Jane explains that “Inquiry was made into the origin of the scourge, and by degrees various facts came out which excited public indignation in a high degree.” speaking to the relative justice and remedy of the pitiful treatment of the girls at Lowood and the evils of Mr. Brocklehurst (10) Religion: “I am little better than a devil at this moment; and, as my pastor there would tell me, deserve no doubt the sternest judgments of God, even to the quenchless fire and deathless worm.” states Rochester, who disregarded God’s law and deceived Jane by not telling her of his past (26) “”Simplify your complicated interests, feelings, thoughts, wishes, aims; merge all considerations in one purpose: that of fulfilling with effect-with power-the mission of your great Master.” St. John tells Jane, in an attempt to instill in her the same religious zeal he himself possesses (34) “I have a Master to serve whose kingdom is not of this world: my mission is to mortify in these girls the lusts of the flesh, to teach them to clothe themselves with shamefacedness and sobriety,” Mr. Brocklehurst explains to Miss Temple and the girls of Lowood (7) Daniel Preus

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