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A Livelier Vein of Conversation: Reading the Influence of Gothic Conventions on Feminist Criticism Through Dialogue

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dc.contributor.advisor Stadler, Gustavus Fagan, Jacqueline 2016-01-15T19:43:28Z 2016-01-15T19:43:28Z 2015
dc.description.abstract Jane Eyre, Charlotte Bronte's 1847 novel, follows the protagonist, for whom the title is named, in a rags-to-riches bildungsroman told as an autobiography. Jane's new, distinctively personalized voice gave rise to the novel's place as one the most widely studied nineteenth-century texts and feminist critics, in particular, have found the novel a generative one (Kaplan 16; Lodge). Within the feminist critical body of literature, Bronte's appropriation of the Gothic genre in Jane Eyre has not gone unnoticed. The relationship between the two plays a role in informing Sandra Gilbert and Susan Gubar's landmark text The Madwoman in the Attic, as well as many other critical works that expand upon and push against Gilbert and Gubar's. Gilbert and Gubar propose that Jane's anger within the novel is a product of the frustration and anxiety associated with both the enforcement of gender norms and the suppression of her inner passion. Gilbert and Gubar then show how a Gothic trope, the double, works within the novel, proposing that Bertha Mason, Edward Fairfax Rochester's unstable wife, serves as Jane's angry double and, to some degree, Bronte's. Their primary concern, however, is not the role of the Gothic genre, though their framework brings forth the link, also seen in later readings, between critical feminist interpretations and Gothic conventions. I will argue that the relationship Gothic conventions have to feminist readings may be better understood specifically through Jane's focus in relaying her time at Mr. Rochester's estate, where her compelling interactions with Mr. Rochester are at the forefront of her experience.
dc.description.sponsorship Haverford College. Department of English
dc.language.iso eng
dc.subject.lcsh Brontë, Charlotte, 1816-1855. Jane Eyre
dc.subject.lcsh Brontë, Charlotte, 1816-1855 -- Criticism and interpretation
dc.subject.lcsh Feminism in literature
dc.subject.lcsh Gothic fiction (Literary genre)
dc.title A Livelier Vein of Conversation: Reading the Influence of Gothic Conventions on Feminist Criticism Through Dialogue
dc.type Thesis
dc.rights.access Open Access

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