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Lecture 3

ENGLISH 2K06 Lecture 3: English 2K06 - Lecture 3 - Jane Eyre (Charlotte Bronte)
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3 Pages
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Department
English
Course Code
ENGLISH 2K06
Professor
Juliette Merritt

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Jane Eyre Tuesday October 1, 2013 Charlotte Bronte • Sense of space represents liberty in Bronte’s opinion • Born after Jane Austen died • Irish descent, father was a clergyman (like Austen’s) • Died of cancer at 36 • 6 children in the family • Oldest girls to become governesses • Ascetic – one who expresses faith through self discipline and self denial (denial of self pleasure) • Girls’ long hair cut off at school because it was a sign of vanity • Connection between poverty, sickness and death • Two sisters died within 5 weeks • Poor children • Girls at Lowood have been abandoned by family like Charlotte in real life • Books and pictures are important • Her children became writers • Bronte did not like being a governess so she left • Governess are basically servants and she didn’t like the family she was with • Maintained class distinctions within the family • Eventually went back to being a governess due to financial issues • Decided to set up own schooling and in 1842 went to Belgium to maintain education • Learned French but didn’t end up opening the school • Started writing for publication under male names • Bronte is a post romantic writer (even though it contains romantic elements) Jane Eyre • Post gothic era • Plot of Jane Eyre follows a journey • Track Jane’s progress and development throughout the novel • Begins living with the Reeds (her aunt and cousins) at Gateshead Hall • Lowood (school)  Thornfield  Declines Europe  Marsh End (Rivers/school)  Thornfield  Ferndean  Refuses India • Liminal spaces “on the margins” or in between spaces • As an orphan Jane exists on the margins of Gateshead • “Interloper” she doesn’t belong there • Journey of finding Jane’s place – finding where she ought to be • For Jane, this place is Ferndean – marriage, domesticity, children • Dominant institution is the family (where we are first placed in the world) • This place is deterministic (social status, economic status) • Having no family makes our future potentially uncertain (Jane) • Confinement and forms of imprisonment • Literal/physical and emotional imprisonment o Physical: Bertha trapped in the attic, Jane confined in the red room o Psychological: danger of becoming under the control of another person’s will ▪ Rochester tries to control her ▪ St. John (Sinjin) Rivers tries to force Jane into accepting her “destiny” as his wife and mis
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