Jane Eyre- Historical Context 

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  • Jane Eyre- Historical Context
    • Charlotte Bronte - believed biographical influence of her life
      • Her father was a cleric- therefore supports the novels religious influence
        • Her and her sisters attended a girls charity school for the daughters of poor clergy men
          • Link to Lowood
      • Her mother died young.
        • Two of her sisters died, Maria and Elizabeth, of tuberculosis
          • Maria- the supposed influence for the character, Helen Burns
          • Helen Burns also died of a similar disease
      • Bronte was a governess
        • Fell in love with an already married man while teaching in Belgium
          • Similar to Jane's situation with Rochester
        • Experienced an educated woman's conflict with the modern society as a governess
          • Many more educated middle class women became governesses
            • Bronte was a governess
              • Fell in love with an already married man while teaching in Belgium
                • Similar to Jane's situation with Rochester
              • Experienced an educated woman's conflict with the modern society as a governess
                • Many more educated middle class women became governesses
                  • Many had affairs with their masters or were sexually abused by them
                    • It was unclear about what class they were in- they were more educated than most, however not upper or middle class
              • Many had affairs with their masters or were sexually abused by them
                • It was unclear about what class they were in- they were more educated than most, however not upper or middle class
        • Women in the Victorian Era
          • Women were treated like second class citizens
          • Inferior to men
          • Denied the right to vote
          • In 1840- a man was legally allowed to beat his wife within moderation
            • After marriage- women were not allowed to own their own property, their husbands took custody of it.
          • Prostitution was common, especially among the working class
          • Many had little to no education
          • Critics Opinion
            • R B Martin- "there is no hint in the book of any desire for political, legal, educational , or even intellectual equality between the sexes."
        • Childhood in the Victorian era
          • Working Class Children
            • Some forced to work from the age of 4
              • Did the difficult jobs in factories and mills or were sent up the chimney as sweeps
            • Lack of educational opportunity
          • Middle/Upper class children
            • Educated privately,at home by governesses
            • Didn't spend a lot of time with their families
        • Religion
          • Evangelicalis-m was a popular religion of the time
            • It was very important in society- taught about humanity
            • Similar to the Puritan life style
            • Believe that no one is worthy of heaven and that it had to be earned
          • More than 60 thousand missionaries working to spread and educate the uncivilised across the British Empire
          • Helen Burns and St John as representations of Religious society
          • Critics opinion
            • "Religion is representative of repressive Victorian patriarchy"
        • Class Divide
          • The working class were poorly paid and did the hard labour and disgusting jobs
          • Strict social code and etiquette for the middle/upper class
            • For example, they thought that not wearing gloves was indecent
        • Imperialism
          • Bronte has been criticised for being racist in her depiction of Bertha Mason as a mad, foreign woman
            • Such as the use of the quote "Her mother, the Creole"
          • Colonised in foreign countries to form the British Empire
          • Although slavery was abolished in the British empire in 1833, there was still attitudes of racial discrimination

      Comments

      nia123ha

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      Who is the critic on the religion quote?

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