Compact little essays from a stay-at-home tourist.
From once-upon-a-time to happily-ever-after, Jane Eyre is an elaborate fairy tale involving equivalent factors of wicked stepsisters and –mothers, lost fortunes, found relatives, superhuman journeys—even a castle surrounded by thorns. The novel is particularly close to the Cinderella story. Jane and Cinderella are deserving and pure, but degraded and humiliated by cruel relatives. In the […] [Read More]
Part III: Domination & Independence Though Edward Rochester is master over his “paid subordinate,” Jane Eyre is authentically independent in spirit. She transcends social convention, cannot be captured, and Rochester is equally attracted and bemused by her singularity. The two constantly exchange ripostes and silences, and watch and vex each other. They impose absence on […] [Read More]
Throughout Jane Eyre, character foils display correlative psychological types that lace together a rich and patulous plot. They operate like a system of repeated musical motifs in a story of Romantic wildness–passion, rage and madness—which are set like gems in a narrative as solid as a crown. Two pastors bracket the book. The Reverend Robert […] [Read More]
The following essays were published in four 1987 issues of The Bronte Newsletter. PART I: THE SYMBOLIC LANDSCAPE All of Jane’s abodes are stifling, suppressive, stagnating. As an outcast at Gateshead, she’s imprisoned in the nightmarish red-room. Lowood School is a Procrustes’ bed of conformity: any natural self-expression, and body and spirit are racked and […] [Read More]