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The Popularity of Jane Eyre in China
Qinghong Wu, Lu Huang
Literature Compass, Volume 8, Issue 8, pages 554–567, August 2011
Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre has gradually achieved a great popularity among Chinese readers from its first introduction into China in 1917 to the 1980s when China introduced an open door policy. Therefore, millions of copies of various versions of the novel have been sold in China in the past 30 years. Though the interpretations of the novel change under different political and social circumstances, it is always fascinating to readers and academic scholars in China, for it not only possesses a literary and aesthetic charm of its own, but also has rich thematic meanings and implied moral teachings somewhat similar to traditional Chinese ethics, and gives Chinese readers resonance to life. It is so well appreciated by Chinese readers that it is recommended by the Chinese national education department as one of the fundamental compulsory reading books for primary and middle school students. In fact, it seems to have melt into the Chinese culture and may have far-reaching influence in China.
Acting Towards a “True” Identity: The Many (Muted) Roles of Villette’s Lucy Snowe
Feminist Studies in English Literature, Volume 19, Issue 1, pages 35-64, 2011
This paper examines the use of theatrical elements in Charlotte Brontë’s Villette. I argue that only through a series of decidedly theatrical narrative “performances” within the novel is Lucy Snowe, as both spectator and participant, able to emerge psychologically from the repression that initially dominates her character. In addition, contextualizing my wn nalysis within and extending upon a generation of existing research into the theatricality of Villette, I emonstrate the extent to which these performances and the “role” of independence Lucy eventually assumes reveal a subversive, feminist impulse behind the novel’s construction. The novel’s theatricality becomes coded to a predominantly feminist sentiment as Lucy learns to wield her performative powers.
However, one must avoid a simple dichotomy between repression and performance. As John Kucich writes of Lucy’s narration, in a Victorian sense “expression and repression cooperate and enhance each other by being identically opposed to direct self?revelation.”
Kucich’s psychological approach to Lucy’s character and narrative performativity is fundamental to my argument. The works of other critics who have written specifically about theatricality in Brontë’s novels, including Joseph Litvak and Lisa Surridge, also help provide
an important framework for my essay, particularly in the attention to prevailing Victorian attitudes toward the theatre.
"That Traitor Tongue": Detrimental Speech and Desirable Silence in "Villette"
Victorian Institute Journal, Volume 38, pages 23-52, 2010
Presents literary criticism of the book "Villette" by Charlotte Brontë. The author focuses on speech and silence in the novel, theorizing that silence is a way to challenging limitations on female language seen in conduct manuals regulating the conversation of Victorian women. The author posits that the character Lucy Snowe uses her silence to mask her insufficiencies in language and exert power over other characters. Conduct books, Lucy's issues with language, and female desire are discussed.