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Jane Eyre fait de la résistance (Jane stands up for her rights)
Author: Claire Bazin
Cahiers victoriens & édouardiens ISSN 0220-5610
2012, no75, [Note(s): 31-39 [11 p.]]
Résumé / Abstract
"Speak I must; I had been trodden on severely and must turn". It is with these unspoken but no less eloquent words that Jane starts attacking her baffled aunt, who is not used to being addressed in this way by one who is usually obedient and silent. The scene, which follows the incarceration in the red room and Brocklehurst's visit, can be read as a "Vindication of the rights of Jane" and also as both a metamorphosis and a reversal: Jane is out of herself and rebels against the enemy who gradually turns into a powerless child, ready to cry, unable to recognize this new Jane whom she vainly tries to propitiate. If Jane comes out victorious from this verbal confrontation, her triumph has a bitter after-taste and her previous exaltation is followed by a kind of depression, which is often the case with her. I propose to study this emblematic scene firstly by following three axes: a double metamorphosis where Jane defeats Mrs. Reed who loses her composure, in a spectacular reversal of roles, and then by analysing Jane's ensuing inner monologue, where the narrator's I takes over from the character's in this splitting of the narrative voice that is common to both novelistic and fictitious autobiographical forms.