Jane Eyre (Bantam Classic reissue) by Charlotte Brontë, Joyce Carol Oates

By Charlotte Brontë, Joyce Carol Oates

Introduction by means of Joyce Carol Oates.


Orphaned into the family of her Aunt Reed at Gateshead, topic to the harsh regime at Lowood charity college, Jane Eyre still emerges unbroken in spirit and integrity. She takes up the submit of governess at Thornfield, falls in love with Mr. Rochester, and discovers the obstacle to their lawful marriage in a narrative that transcends melodrama to painting a woman's passionate look for a much broader and richer existence than Victorian society frequently allowed. With a heroine filled with craving, the harmful secrets and techniques she encounters, and the alternatives she ultimately makes, Charlotte Bronte's leading edge and enduring romantic novel keeps to have interaction and galvanize readers.

In early nineteenth-century England, an orphaned younger lady accepts employment as a governess at Thornfield corridor, a rustic property owned by way of the mysteriously distant Mr. Rochester.

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A few months before the wedding he seems to be working out a model of full conjugal disclosure in keeping with contemporary ideals of marriage: Dearest Eliza is less reserved than before, and appears to look forward to the change with less fear. 20 While Francis’s insistence that he can give Eliza his ‘‘full confidence’’ suggests that he may have shared feelings with her beyond those recorded in his diary, his underestimation of her fears suggests that she might well have kept her feelings – and thus her diary – to herself.

Often the first step in the wedding was the departure of the bride from the family home; after this, friends of the bride and groom took over the ceremonies, and the rituals continued to enact separation, in this case not so much from family but from homosocial groups of peers. Most 26 John Gillis, For Better, For Worse: British Marriages, 1600 to the Present (New York: Oxford University Press, 1985), p. 56. Reading honeymoons 23 striking was the noise and spectacle of those weddings and their status as community and public events.

23 Rose, Parallel Lives, p. 56. 18 Victorian honeymoons Victorian wedding nights is metonymic, deriving its meaning from juxtaposition or contiguity. Rose’s speculation about representativeness takes us to the final question about which I want to speculate here. Both honeymoons, in their different ways, raise the issue of the representativeness of the honeymooning couples. Ruskin’s fame (less great at the time of his honeymoon than it was to become later, but very much at issue at the time of the annulment) as well as what we might think of as his proclivities, more dominant in later life, for prepubescent girls make his case, and thus that of Effie, a less than ordinary one.

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