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Two Cultural Perceptions in Jane Eyre and Wide Sargasso Sea
Asst. Prof. Dr Ahmad H. Mzeil
Al-Madinah Language Studies, Vol 1, No 1 (2013)
Re-telling a story from a different point of view is a process of deconstructing a culturally based assumption into a new one with new way of seeing. Jean Rhys in her novel Wide Sargasso Sea sets a debate or dialogue to revision or reexamine the history of Bertha the Creole who has been overlooked and silenced in Brontë’s Jane Eyre for a long time. In giving a voice to Bertha, Rhys cursors Brontë's failure to see the other as human with expectations and aspirations regardless to race, the color and religion.
“And this is her voice”: The Nexus of Language and Power in Jane Eyre
The Sigma Tau Delta, Volume 10, pp 76, 2013
In a letter to the critic George Henry Lewes, Charlotte Brontë criticizes Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice. She writes,
I got the book and studied it. And what did I find? An accurate daguerrotyped portrait of a commonplace face; a carefully fenced, highly cultivated garden, with neat borders and delicate flowers; but no glance of a bright, vivid physiognomy. (qtd. in Weisser 93)
Brontë rejects a romance novel devoid of passion. In “Charlotte Brontë, Jane Austen, and the Meaning of Love,” Susan Ostrov Weisser argues that Brontë especially scorned Austen’s mannerly, constrained approach to romance.
A Study of the Varying Perspectives of Marriage in Jane Eyre, Middlemarch, and Jude the Obscure
Covo, Dana Lauren (2013)
Honors Thesis (129 pages)
Thesis Adviser: Kelleher, Paul (Emory University)
In my thesis I explore the different perspectives of marriage in Jane Eyre (1847), Middlemarch (1871-72), and Jude the Obscure (1895). I chose these novels because I wanted to examine changing attitudes over the course of a time period; the three novels span the majority of the Victorian era. In addition, each novel has a leading female character with a strong and vibrant personality. The diverse personalities of the women highlight their different ideas, perspectives, and feelings in regard to marriage. For most of the Victorian era, marriage was considered very restrictive and limiting for women, especially in terms of their legal status. They had to give up all their property upon marriage and anything earned during the marriage also became their husband's. They could not sue or file for divorce. They were essentially an entity of their husbands. However, despite these limitations women still yearned to get married as unmarried women were considered spinsters and social outcasts. Marriage offered women the chance to be a wife and a mother. These were respected and important positions of the time and gave women the responsibilities that came with running a household and raising children. Despite the legal restrictions associated with marriage for women, Jane Eyre, Middlemarch and Jude the Obscure present marriage as an arrangement more than a legal union; the novels explore and bring to life the emotional, psychological, and physical parts of marriage that make it so sacred and coveted. Jane Eyre's, Dorothea Brooke's and Sue Bridehead's experiences with marriage both support and deny the idea of marriage as a means of defeat to the individuality and independence of a woman. However, while these women are able to make strides in terms of their independence, all of their actions are within the confines of a patriarchal society. These women ultimately rely on men to attain happiness, social status, and social acceptance.