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Religious aspects in Charlotte, Anne and Emily Brontë's novels
University of Debrecen, Hungary
This thesis analyses the role of religion in the Brontë novels, deals with the question of salvation and focuses on the Christian-based values, moral judgements and ethical questions as present in the texts: The Tenant of Wildfell Hall, Agnes Grey, Villette, Jane Eyre and Wuthering Heights. The aim of this thesis is to show that the sisters being themselves Christians dealt with religious questions consciously. The sisters created various characters and Chapter One analyses religious characters through the mirror of religion. Chapter Two deals with the question of salvation and afterlife, and Chapter Three focuses on Jane’s spiritual Bildungsroman.
Social Performance and Reticence: Mental Negotiations in Austen, Brontë, and Eliot
Meredith L. Spencer
First Advisor, Dr. Katherine Saunders Nash
VCU, Virginia Commonwealth University
This thesis examines how three nineteenth-century British novels purvey and critique contemporary standards regarding social performance and reticence and the strains such standards place on those whose dispositions disincline them to conform to the regulations for decorum articulated in conduct books of the time. Utilizing the psychological lens of introversion and extroversion alongside the cognitive narrative theories of Alan Palmer and Lisa Zunshine, this thesis investigates the construction of individual character identities through the reading of interactions among multiple fictional minds in Charlotte Brontë’s Villette (1853), Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice (1813), and George Eliot’s The Mill on the Floss (1860).
Nineteenth Century Women Writers and the Challenge of Gender Roles: Feminist Heroines in the Novels of the Brontë Sisters
Tinna Sif Sindradóttir
Advisor: Ingibjörg Ágústsdóttir
University of Iceland
This essay explores the challenges that women writers faced in the nineteenth century, as well as women in general. Therefore, the concept of gender roles is examined, along with the restrictions that women faced. In addition, the notion of separate spheres that were dominant in this period is briefly outlined to exemplify the male-dominated society that these women lived in. However, the main issue focused on is how women writers were able to speak out against this patriarchal society and the traditional gender roles that women were subjected to. Indeed, by becoming professional writers, they challenged the notion of the domestic sphere and the idea that women were mainly supposed to be wives and mothers. As a result, women writers had the ability to empower other women and influence the course of history.
In particular, the Brontë sisters will be discussed to illustrate women writers that challenged the patriarchal society of the nineteenth century. Through their novels and their heroines, the sisters addressed issues that their society faced and they did this in their own unique ways. Special emphasis is placed on Charlotte Brontë and Anne Brontë, as well as their novels. Charlotte and Anne concerned themselves predominantly with problems such as gender roles and equality between the sexes. However, they were also concerned with the education of women and issues concerning the domestic sphere.
The novels discussed are Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë and The Tenant of Wildfell Hall by Anne Brontë. In addition, the novel Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë is briefly outlined. The novels in question can be considered as feminist novels. Indeed, the key aspect discussed in Jane Eyre is the empowerment of women through the heroine, Jane Eyre, as well as her demand for equality. Moreover, the battle for women’s rights and independence is explored in the The Tenant of Wildfell Hall through the novel’s heroine, Helen Huntingdon. Finally, it can be argued that Emily challenged gender roles through the way that she wrote, as well as through the heroine, Catherine Earnshaw, in Wuthering Heights.