Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Wednesday, November 27, 2013 12:11 am by M. in ,    No comments
More recent Brontë research:
Elements of Feminism in The Tenant of Wildfell Hall
Asha Kaushik

Centre for Professional Communication, University of Petroleum and Energy Studies, Bidholi, Dehradun, Uttarakhand, India-248007

Anne Brontë was the youngest among Brontë sisters. Although her works are not as much celebrated as of Emily or Charlotte but her contribution towards the demand of rights for women can not be simply ignored. She wrote two novels namely Agnes Grey and The Tenant of Wildfell Hall. These works of fiction depict the saga of women’s struggle during Victorian era and contain the elements of feminism. She raised many issues about the grim condition of women which either remained unnoticed earlier or her predecessors could not dare talk about them. Her dedication to women’s rights and betterment and her distrust of men as superior gender led her to declare that women must look to defend their self-respect. She openly challenged the double standards that insisted for different rooms and yardsticks to judge and justify what was and was not proper and permissible in male and female writings and demanded equality.
The Language of Flowers in the Victorian Knowledge Age
Molly Engelhardt
Texas A&M University – Corpus Christi
Victoriographies. Volume 3, Page 136-160

The language of flowers is typically dismissed as a subgenre of botany books that, while popular, had little if any influence on the material culture of Victorian life. This article challenges this assumption by situating the genre within the context of the professionalisation of botany at mid-century to show how efforts to change attitudes towards botany from a fashionable pastime for the gentler sex to a utilitarian practice in service of humanity contributed to the revitalisation and popularity of the language of flowers. While scientific botanists sought to know flowers physiologically and morphologically in the spirit of progress and truth, practitioners of the language of flowers – written primarily for and by women – celebrated uncertainty and relied on floral codes to curtail knowing in order to extend the realm of play. The struggle for floral authority was centred in botanical discourses – both scientific and amateur – but extended as well into narrative fiction. Turning to works by Elizabeth Gaskell, Charlotte Brontë, and George Eliot, I show how Victorian writers expected a certain degree of floral literacy from their readers and used floral codes strategically in their fiction as subtexts for practitioners of the language of flowers. These three writers, I argue, took a stand in the gender struggle over floral authority by creating scientific botanists who are so obsessed with dissecting plants to reveal their secrets and know their ‘life truths’ that they become farsighted in matters of romantic love and unable to read the most obvious and surface of floral codes. The consequences of the dismissal of the superficial are in some cases quite disastrous.
Choice in the Patriarchal Society: Secularity and Religiousness in Jane Eyre 
Yi-ling LinDepartment of Applied Foreign Languages English, University of Kang Ning

Charlotte Brontë describes diverse forms of female oppression in Jane Eyre. The oppressions are social practices, gender and religion. There are three male characters who profoundly influence Jane’s growing: Mr. Brocklehurst, Edward Rochester and St. John Rivers. They are typical patriarchal males who impede Jane’s attempts to achieve freedom and autonomy. This thesis will explore these three male characters and their notion of secularity and religiousness.
 In this thesis, Chapter One is an introduction depicting the background regarding Victorian society and Charlotte Brontë’s life and her novel. Chapter Two examines the hero—Rochester, with an emphasis on his mental development from his first marriage to Bertha Mason to his union with Jane. Chapter Three discusses Brocklehurst’s and St. John’s behavior with respect to religion. Helen Burns, Jane’s good friend, is mentioned because of her religious faith even if she is a woman. The two males allude to theocratic policies to threaten Jane, which causes her to be oppressed by the authority of God. Chapter Four utilizes William Glasser’s “Choice Theory” to analyze the basic human needs of Rochester and St. John. Their attitudes toward love and marriage are affected by different needs in different periods. In the final chapter, Jane’s choice between Rochester and St. John will be dealt with. She prefers to build her marriage on the concept of secularity so that she chooses Rochester in the end.

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