Jane Eyre - Criticism

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  • Criticism
    • Marxist
      • Raymond Williams and Terry Eagleton
        • Allude to the ambiguity of Jane's employment as a governess, with her role evidently contradicting her social mobility with Rochester
        • During the time Jane Eyre was written, was a time of social rebuttal and tensions, these are reflected both in the representation of Jane's passion and desire, and fear of isolation
    • Postcolonial
    • Psychoanalytical
      • Focus on myth that suggest new and interesting ways to read the novel. Such as that Rochester's first wife: Bertha Mason is Jane's double.
        • Elizabeth Imlay
          • Noted both women are represented at different times in very similar ways. (Both locked up)
    • Early Critical Reviews
    • Feminist
      • Read Jane Eyre as a radical text in which a woman writer wrote successfully about the treatment of women in her society
        • Gilbert and Gubar
          • Jane describing her mind as a lightened health is prophetic of the flames consuming Thornfield
          • All the female characters have overtones of male suppression for example, Miss Temple forced to keep her anger quiet in front of Mr Brocklehurst
          • In Thornfield's attic and battlements 'Jane's own rationality' and 'her irrationality intersect'. In close proximity to Bertha Mason at these moments, and hearing her laugh, Jane seeks her 'own secret self'.
          • Jane's 'terrible journey across the moors suggests the essential homelessness.. of woman in a patriarchal society'.
    • Walter Allen
      • Asserts it is the desire of women 'to be mastered, but to be mastered by a man so lofty in his scorn for women as to make the very fact of being mastered a powerful adjunct to the woman's self-esteem'.
      • Suggests Rochester's mutilation at the end of the novel is a symbol of Jane's triumph in the battle of sexes.
    • Robert B. Martin
      • Asserts each location in novel (Bildungsro.) adopts characteristic tone
        • The Gateshead section dominated by a sense of '‘passion, sensuality, emotion, superstition, and other manifestations of the non-rational’


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