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Narrative Form and Facts, Facts, Facts: Elizabeth Gaskell's Life of Charlotte Brontë
Genre 2017 Volume 50, Number 1: 97-116
This essay places Elizabeth Gaskell's Life of Charlotte Brontë in the context of responses it provoked from contemporaries, including their retrospective rereadings of Jane Eyre. By 1857, the novel form had come a long way from its eighteenth-century origins in the roman à clef, but some parts of Gaskell's Life return to and invert that tradition, reading almost like a clef to Jane Eyre—so much so as to force a printed retraction and substantial revisions. Gaskell wrote the Life well after fictionality emerged as a concept distinct from history and journalism. Nevertheless, in its intersection with Jane Eyre, the Life reveals the traces of fictional realist convention in factual accounts and, conversely, shows how far the novel, fictional form par excellence, retained an aura of facticity.
Marrying Mr. Rochester: Redeeming the Negative Father Complex
Psychological Perspectives. A Quarterly Journal of Jungian Thought, Volume 60, 2017 - Issue 1: Marked for Life, 91-102
Injurious childhood experiences with one's personal father form the psychic bedrock of a negative father complex: never good enough. This complex has a part that is exciting and uses hope as its hook, and a part that disappoints and persecutes. The negative father complex can be imaged as the ghostly lover, as depicted in the fairy tale “The Singing, Springing Lark” and in Charlotte Brontë's life and famous novel, Jane Eyre. The ghostly lover holds a woman's creative energies hostage to the tantalizing possibility of being the special one who can redeem the negative masculine and win his love.
To heal a complex, its contents must be personified, or imaged, so that an individual can come into conscious relationship with it. The tale of the “Singing, Springing Lark” illustrates collective roots and images of healing a wounded relationship with the masculine. Charlotte Brontë transformed her relationship with the ghostly lover through her novel Jane Eyre, with Mr. Rochester as the image of her own wounded, bewitching masculine energy. Brontë herself was subsequently able to marry, despite her father's objection, overcoming her negative father complex. The fairy tale, novel, and Brontë's life show that several attempts are usually necessary to bring the complex to light. Although consciousness seeks redemption through its pursuit of the masculine, the complex also—mysteriously—seeks its own transformation. Ego alone cannot fulfill the mission of individuation; the Self must aid the process.
The Absent Voice: Jane Eyre and Wide Sargasso Sea
Segzi Öztop Haner
Journal of International Social Research, Aug 2016, Vol. 9 Issue 45, p 173-181
The heroines of Brontë's Jane Eyre (1847) and Rhys's Wide Sargasso Sea (1966) experience oppression and degradation due to the patriarchal and colonial subjugation in England and Jamaica during that time. Jane's struggle against patriarchal oppression corresponds with Antoinette's resistance to colonial subjugation in the sense that both attempt to achieve self-recognition and liberty of speech together with cultural and economic liberty. While Brontë's main concern in Jane Eyre is to articulate her displeasure against gender and class inequality in England, Rhys's Wide Sargasso Sea focuses on the racial inequality in Jamaica. As a consequence, Brontë and Rhys present two different ideologies and thereby two different social reality that indicate each authors' apprehension and world view.
Portrayal of Feminine Emotions in Charlotte Brontë's Jane Eyre
Dr. B Janaki
European Journal of English Language and Literature Studies
Vol.5, No.2, pp.36-46, February 2017
Charlotte Brontë holds a unique place in presenting heroines who are assertive. As the author of vivid, intensely written novels, Charlotte Brontë broke the traditional nineteenthcentury fictional stereotype of a woman as beautiful, submissive, dependent, and ignorant and delineated the portrait of a ‘new woman’ who is independent and who does not simply submit herself to the norms of the patriarchal setup. Charlotte Brontë’s first novel, Jane Eyre (1847) was immediately recognized for its originality and power. Since then, Brontë has been considered by critics as one of the foremost authors of the nineteenth century, an important precursor to feminist novelists, and the creator of intelligent, independent heroines who asserted their rights as women long before those rights were recognized by society. Through Jane Eyre, Charlotte Brontë aims to project the need to fight against the oppression in the patriarchy. Penniless, lonely and starving, Jane Eyre does not remain a victim of social injustice but emerges as a brave warrior to stand against the male domination and is determined to assert her individuality without submitting to the accepted traditional norms. Both Mr. Rochester and St. John want to master Jane and in both the cases, she insists on her independent will. She wants power and the freedom to be active as she wishes to experience the world in a positive and constructive fashion. She does marry Mr. Rochester, but on her own terms and not at the cost of her independence.