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Background Information for Jane Eyre

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1 Background Information for Jane Eyre
By Charlotte Bronte

2 THE NOVEL Published in October 1847 During the Industrial Revolution

3 Schooling During the early 19th century (1800’s), it became fashionable to educate females. However, free education was not yet available for either sex. Only the very rich could send their daughters to elegant girls’ schools

4 Governesses 1. With the new stress on female education, governesses were in demand. 2. Pay was poor, but it was one of the only jobs available to educated, yet impoverished young women

5 Role of the governess Employers & other servants shunned the governess because they felt she was “putting on airs.” Her employers would ignore her, too, because she had a superior education, which intimidated many people.

6 A ground breaking novel
Why? The heroine is small, plain, & poor The heroine is the first female character to claim the right to feel strongly about her emotions and act on her convictions This romantic ground had previously been reserved for males Such a psychologically complex heroine had never been created before

7 Charlotte Bronte Lived at Haworth, a parsonage
Born of Irish ancestry in 1816 Mother died of cancer when Charlotte was 5 years old.

8 The Bronte sisters Charlotte had 4 sisters and 1 brother.
While at the Clergy Daughter’s School, her 2 older sisters (Maria & Elizabeth) died of tuberculosis

9 Charlotte’s family con.’t
The Clergy Daughter’s School at Cowan Bridge became the model for Lowood, the fictitious girls’ school in Jane Eyre. Anne and Emily Bronte were also successful writers. Charlotte’s brother, Branwell, was a gifted painter.

10 All 3 Bronte Sisters… Used a masculine pen name because women writers were not taken seriously at that time in Victorian England. Charlotte used the name Currer Bell.

11 Marriage Bells In 1854 She marries her father's curate, Arthur Bell Nichols. The next year, she became pregnant, then ill. She died a month before her 39th birthday

12 Jane Eyre’s Romantic Heritage
The Romantic Movement Came into play in at the end of the 18th Century (1700’s). Championed the rights of the individual over the demands of society. Believed that humans were inherently good Valued imagination over reason Inspired by nature

13 Charlotte’s Gothic Influence
Jane Eyre displays some characteristics of the gothic novel: Imprisoned women A heroine who faces danger Supernatural interventions at crucial moments in the plot A romantic reconciliation

14 Byronic Hero Proud Gloomy Mysterious Passionate
This term is created by the famous poet George Gordon, Lord Byron. Characteristics are… Proud Gloomy Mysterious Passionate *Mr. Rochester is an example of this type

15 Jane’s Quotes It is vain to say human beings ought to be satisfied with tranquility: they must have action; and they will make it if they cannot find it. If we would build on a sure foundation in friendship, we must love friends for their sake rather than for our own.


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