Contexts Part One:
- feminist novel
- 19th Century novel
- Love story
- Gothic novel
- Romantic novel
- Autobiographical novel
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Contexts Part Two:
- Victoria's reign (1937--->> 1901)
- Divorce Legislation (1857)
- Education of the Brontes at Cowan Bridge.
- Rise of the British Empire
- Conditions at Cowan Bridge contributed to the poor health of Maria and Elizabeth Bronte.
- 1831-1832 - Charlotte taught at Roe Head.
- 1839 - She became a governess.
- Charlotte went to Brussels, Belgium, and fell for a married professor.
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Contexts Part Three:
Social and Cultural:
- Attitudes toward marriage at the time.
- Role of women in Victorian England.
- Attitudes to other races and cultures
- Influence of Romanticism
- Class system of the marriage market.
- The position of the governess in wealthy families.
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Point of View:
- 1st person narrative
- Dual narrative POV
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- Class and money
- Jane's growth as an individual
- Reason vs Passion
- Appearance and reality
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Women in Society - Constraints
Female characters are often represented as being constrained by their societies.
- Male expectations
- Female apathy
- Moral corruption
- the law
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Women in Society - Constraints: Class
- The male notion of "duty"
- Duty to the home and family
- A duty to seek marriage
- A duty to produce a family
- Mrs Reed doesn't see Jane as one of her own kind - below her rank.
- The inability to marry outside class boundaries.
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Women in Society - Constraints: Male expectations
The Victorian ideal woman:
- Attractive; tall and stately
- Family background
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Women in Society - Constraints: Female apathy
- Mrs Reed - stays at home and looks after the family.
- Mrs Fairfax - adores Rochester and simpers about Blanche's beauty.
- Helen Burns - consistently advocates meek and humble subservience and acknowledges and accepts class divisions.
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Women in Society - Constraints: Education
- Women were given access to a limited curriculum - this prepared them for marriage, rather than a career.
- Male dominance - "The Lowood Constraint"
- Women were taught to put up with hardship, to dismiss their ambitions and to be content with little.
- They were also taught to restrain passion.
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