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Transcript of Jane Eyre
- Combines Gothic mystery, romantic marriage
plot, and a coming of age story
- Takes place in Northern England
- First person point of view Where are the similarities to Jane? - Born in 1816, died in 1855
- 3rd of 6 children
- Mother died in 1821 to cancer leaving 5 daughters to care of sister
- She was sent with her 3 sisters to Clergy Daughters Boarding School
- Father was Anglican Priest Charlotte Bronte - Sisters Maria & Elizabeth died of Tuberculosis
- Emily Bronte "Wuthering Heights"
-Anne "Tenant of Wildfell Hall"
- Reclusive Father lead to at home education and reading
- Girls made up make-believe stories
- suffered depression
- She became a teacher at the age of 15 to help pay for Sister Emilys education
- After 3 years she worked as a Governess
- moved to Brussels with her sisters to study language
- There, she fell in love with a Professor. Never admitted it. - Returning home, she fell in deep depression. She thought she lacked ability.
- 3 sisters decided all to write a novel and send them to publishers under a pen name
- Charlotte's first book was rejected
- Her second novel, Jane Eyre, under " Currer bell" but then revealed her identity
- somewhat of a biographical tale
- 1848-1849 - her remaining sisters and brother died.
- "Shirley" was published next. then "Villettte"
- 1854 - she married reverand who worked with her father. lasted only less than a year
- only a few weeks after got pregnant, she got pnemonia, refused all food and water and died 6 weeks later
The twenty-year old Charlotte wrote to Robert Southey, the poet laureate, for his opinion about writing. His response shows the barriers facing women writers:
"Literature cannot be the business of a woman's life, and it ought not to be. The more she is engaged in her proper duties, the less leisure will she have for it, even as an accomplishment and a recreation." What do you think was Charlotte's response? The Bronte Sisters "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; they suffer from too rigid a restraint, too absolute a stagnation, precisely as men would suffer; and it is narrow-minded in their more privileged fellow-creatures to say that they ought to confine themselves to making puddings and knitting stockings, to playing on the piano and embroidering bags" (Chapter 12). A Leader of Literary Feminism The Victorian Era 1837 - 1901 Did not have suffrage rights, the right to sue, or the right to own property.
There was an increasing number of women in the workforce
- The ideal Victorian woman was pure, chaste, refined, and modest.
- Women were expected to have only been with one partner although it was acceptable for men to have multiple partners throughout their life. Women & Marriage in the Victorian Era "Pater Familias" Richard Redgrave
1851 1890: Matrimonial Causes Act: women recieve limited access to divorce. But while the husband only had to prove his wife's adultry, the woman had to prove that her husband had not only commited adultry but also bigamy, incest, cruelty, or desertion. Married Womens Property Act: 1884: wives were not chattels, property belonging to the husband, but an independant and seperate person. 2nd English Renaissance History of Feminism Richard Redgrave
1844 http://collections.vam.ac.uk/item/O17822/the-governess-oil-painting-redgrave-richard-cb/ Bildungsroman: Quest for Independance
The 5 Stages of transformation
1) Gateshead Hill
2) Lowood School
4) Morton & Moor House
5) Reunification Jane Eyre Themes The Red Room represents Jane's suffering and unjust childhood. Later, when she is lonely she makes reference to it. She's been imprisoned by her isolation. Gateshead Hill - "What does Bessie say I have done?" - Jane's first quotation in the entire novel - Innocence/Knowledge through reading - "my worst ailment was an unutterable wretchedness of the mind" Mr. Lloyd as a savior
Helen Burns: "'what is it about?' I hardly know where I found the hardihood thus to open a conversation with a stranger; the step was contrary to my nature and habits: but I think her occupation touched a chord of sympathy somewhere LOWOOD SCHOOL "Love your enemies; bless them that curse you; do good to them that hate you and despitefully use you." HUNGER DISEASE MR. BROCKLEHURST: "You are aware that my plan in bringing up these girls is, not to accostom them to habits of luxury and indulgence, but to render them hardy, patient, self-denying....to God's divine consolations "If ye suffer hunger or thirst for my sake, happy are ye" Mrs. Temple Helen Burns "Why, there are only 80 people who have heard you called so and the world contains hundreds and millions" "the sovereign hand that created your frame, and put life into it, has provided you with other resources than your feeble self, or than creatures feeble as you. Besides this earth, and besides the race of men, there is an invisible world and a kingdom of spirits: that world is round us, for it is everywhere; and those spirits watch us, for they are commisioned to guard us; and if we were dying in pain and shame, if scorn smote us on all sides, and hatred crushed us, angels see our tortues, recognize our innocence, and God waits only the seperation of spirit from flesh to crown us with a full reward. Why, then, shoudl we ever sink overwhelmed with distress, when life is so soon over, and death is so certain an entrance to happiness - to glory?" "Better is a dinner of herbs where love is, than a stalled ox and hatred within" "I went to my window, and looked out. ...I traced the white road winding round the base of one mountain, and vanishing in a gorge between two: how I longed to follow it further!
I desired liberty; for liberty I gasped; for liberty I uttered a prayer; it seemed scattered on the wind then faintly blowing. I abandoned it and framed a humbler supplication; for change
"What do I want? A new place, in a new house, amongst new faces, under new circumstances: I want this because it is of no use wanting anything better.
I could not tell; nothing answered me, I then ordered my brain to find a response, and quickly." It is a very strange sensation to inexperienced youth to feel itself quite alone in the world; cut adrift from every connection; uncertain whether the port to which is it bound can be reached, and prevented by many imprediments from returning to that it has quitted. The charm of adventure sweetens that sensation, the glow of pride warms it; but then the throb of fear disturbs it; (ch. 11) Thornfield "a home of the past; a shrine of memory. I liked the hush, the floom, the quaintness" ROCHESTER "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." Grace Poole's Laughter "I did not like re-entering Thornfeild. To pass its threshhold was to return to stagnation" 'Examine me, Miss Eyre, do you think me handsome?'
I should, if I had deliberated, have replied to this question by something conventionally vague and polite; but the answer somehow slipped from my tongue before I was aware - 'No, sir' ARTIST: AS EXPRESSION that there was a mystery at Thornfield and that from participation in that mystery, I was purposely excluded" ch. 17
"I DONT THINK, SIR, YOU HAVE A RIGHT TO COMMANT ME, MERELY BECAUSE YOU ARE OLDER THN I, OR BECAUSE YOU HAVE SEEN MORE OF THE WORLD THAN I HAVE" Adele "I feel akin to him - I understand the language of his countenance and movements though rank and wealth sever us widely, I have something in my brain, and heart, in my blood and nerves, that assimilates me mentally to him." Blanche Ingrid ROCHESTER'S LOVE: MANIPULATION? The Gypsy You Tube: Jane Eyre (2006) Gypsy Woman The Chestnut Tree Aunt Reed's Death Bed "My disposition is not as bad as you think; I am passionate, but not vindictive. Many a time, as a little child, I should have been glad to love you if you would have let me; and I long earnestly to be reconciled to you now; miss me aunt." I approached my cheek to her lips; she would not touch it. 'Love me, then, or hate me, as you will.' I said at last, 'you have my full and free forgiveness; ask now for God's; and be at peace." "a beauty neither of fine colour not long eyelash, nor pencilled brow, but of meaning, of movement, of radiance." " I have talked, face to face, with what I reverence, with what I delight in, - with an original, a vigorous, an expanded mind. I have known you, Mr Rochester, and it strikes me with terror and anguish to feel I absolutely must be torn from you for ever. I see the necessity of departure, and it is like looking on the necessity of death" "Thank you Mr Rochester, for your kindness. I am strangely glad to get back to you; and wherever you are is my home, - my only home" ""I tell you I must go!" I retorted, roused to something like passion. "Do you think I can stay to become nothing to you? Do you think I am an automaton?--a machine without feelings? and can bear to have my morsel of bread snatched from my lips, and my drop of living water dashed from my cup? Do you think, because I am poor, obscure, plain, and little, I am soulless and heartless? You think wrong!--I have as much soul as you,--and full as much heart! 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. I am not talking to you now through the medium of custom, conventionalities, nor even of mortal flesh;--it is my spirit that addresses your spirit; just as if both had passed through the grave, and we stood at God's feet, equal,--as we are!" "I looked at my face in the flass, and felt it was no longer plain: there was hope in its aspect, and life in its colour; and my eyes seemed as if they had beheld the fount of fruition, and borrowed beams from the lustrious ripple. I had often been unwilling to look at my master, because I feared he could not be pleased at my look; but I was sure I might life my face to his now, and not cool his affection by its expression. I took a plain but clean and light summer dress from my drawer and put it on: it seemed no attire had evere so well become me; because none had I evere woen in so blissful a mood." Will You Go Out With Me? "the more he bought me, the more my cheek burned with a sense of annoyance and degredation....I never can bear being dressed like a doll by Mr. Rochester,"
"I only want an easy mind, sir, not crushed by crowded obligations. Do you remember what you said of Celine Varens? - of the diamonds, the cashmeres you gave her? I will not be your Celine Varens." "My eyes were covered and closed: eddying darkness seemed wto swim around me, and reflection came in as black and confused a flow. Self-abadoned, relaxed, and effortless, I seemed to have laid me down in the dried up bed of a great river; I heard a flood loosened in remote moutnains, and felt torrent come: to rise I had no will, to flee I had no strength. I lay faint; longing to be dead. One idea only still throbbed life-like within me - a remembrance of God: it begot an unuttered prayer: these words went wandering up and down in my rayless mind, as something that should be whispered; but no energy was found to express them: -
"Be not far from me, for trouble is near: there is none to help" One drear word compromised my intolerable duty: 'depart' "I was wrong to attempt to deceive you; but I feared a stubbornness that exists in your character. I feared early prejudice: I wanted to have you safe before hazarding confidences. This was cowardly: I should have appealed to your nobleness and magnanimity at first, as I do now - opened to you plainly my life of agony - described to you my hunger and thirst after a higher and worthier existence - shown to you, not my resolution (that word is weak) but my resistless bent to love faithfully and well, where I am faithfully and well loved in return. Then I should have asked you to accept my pledge of fidelity and to give me yours: Jane, give it to me now" Still indomitable was the reply - 'I care for myself. The more solitary, the more friendless, the more unsustained I am, the more I respect myself. I will keep the law given by God; sanctioned by man. I will hold to the principles received by me when I was sane, and not mad - as I am now. Laws and principles are not for the times when there is no temptation: they are for such moments as this, when body and soul rise in mutiny against their rigour; stringent are they; inviolate they shall be. If any any individual convenience I might break them, what would be their worth? They have a worth - so I have always believed; and if I cannot believe it now, it is because I am insane - quite insane; with my veins running fire, and my heart beating faster than I can count its throbs. Preconceived opinions, foregone determinations, are all I have at this hour to stand by: there I plant my foot. I was absolutely desolate...Not a tie holds me to human society at this moment - not a charm of hope calls me where my fellow creatures are - none that saw me would have a kind thought or a good wish for me. I have no relative but the universal mother, nature. I will seek her breast and ask repose. Nature seemed to me benign and good; I thought she loved me, outcast as I was; and I, who from man could anticipate only mistrust, rejection, insult, clung to her with filial fondness. To-night, at least, I would be her guest - as I was her child; my mother would lodge me without money and without price. There was a reviving pleasure in this intercourse, of a kind now tasted by me for the first time -- the pleasure arising from perfect congeniality of tastes, sentiments, and principles" Moor House/Morton : The Final Step "troubling impulses of insatiate yearnings and disquieting aspirations" "No one will ever love me again. I shall never more know the sweet homage given to beauty, youth, and grace -- for never to any one else shall I seem to posses these charms. He was fond and proud of me -- it is what no man besides will ever be" "Reason, and not feeling, is my guide" REASON VS. LOVE Not an isolated self: Mary, Diana, St. John "Glorious discovery to a lonely wretch! This was wealth indeed! -- wealth to the heart! -- a mine of pure, genial affections. This was blessing, bright, vivid, and exhilarating" RIVERS REEDS INGRAMS "I know no medium: I never in my life have known any medium in my dealings with positive, hard characters, antagonistic to my own, between absolute submission and determined revolt. I have always faithfully observed the one, up to the moment of bursting, sometimes with volcanic vehemence" "By degrees, he acquired a certain influence over me that took away my liberty of mind: his praise and notice were more restraingin than his indifference. I could no longer talk or laugh freely when he was near by...When he said "go," I went! "come," I came; "do this," I did it. But I did not love my servitude; I wished, many a time, he had continued to neglect me." I scorn your idea of love...and I scorn you when you offer it" "I saw his fallibilities: I comprehended them. I understood them, sitting there where I did, on the bank of heath, and with that handsome form before me, I sat at the feet of a man, erring as I. The veil fell from his hardness and depotism. Having felt in him the presence of these qualities, I felt his imperfection, and took courage. I was with an equal -- one with whom I might argue -- one whom, if I saw good, I might resist'' Destructive:
Emotionally, Morally, and Spiritually
Crippled by Passion Fire at Thornfield: Destructive or Redemptive? Redemptive:
Purification (metals/iron/gold) "His countenance reminded one of a lamp quenched, waiting to be relit -- and alas! it was not himself that could now kindle the lustre of animated expression: he was dependant on another for that office!" Financially & Socially Independent
Physical Dependance "I know what it is to live entirely for and with what I love best on earth. I hold myself suprememly blest -- blest beyond what language can express; because I am my husband's life as fully as he is mine. No woman was ever nearer to her mate than I am: ever more absolutely bone of his bone, and flesh of his flesh. I know no weariness of my Edward's society: he knows none of mine, any more than we each do of the pulsation of the heart that beats in our separate bosoms; consequently, we are ever together. To be together is for us to be at once as free as in solitude, as gay as in company....All my confidence is bestowed on him, all his confidence is devoted to me; we are precisely suited in character -- perfect concord is the result." "Reader, I married him" A kind of hero found in several of the works of Lord Byron. Like Byron himself, a Byronic hero is a melancholy and rebellious young man, distressed by a terrible wrong he committed in the past. He is an idealized but flawed character. BYRONIC HERO: