Charlotte Bronte, vita e opere
Charlotte Bronte was born in Thornton in a family of Irish origins. After the death of her mother, she was sent to her aunt in an isolated village where she grew up with her four sisters and brother, imagining far lands and stories. Charlotte, Maria, Elizabeth and Emily were sent to a boarding school where Maria and Elizabeth died of consumption; this traumatic experience inspired Charlotte to write Jane Eyre.[br]
Charlotte was later sent to a private school where she then started teaching and getting more inspiration to write. She started publishing her works with her sisters Anne and Emily after moving to Brussels.[br]
In 1852 she accepted a marriage proposal which allowed her to move back to her birth town, where she died of pneumonia three years later, while pregnant with her first child.[br]
Her works were characterised by several elements of the Victorian age literature: injustice, which she introduces when describing boarding schools. Therefore, characters are accepted only through sufference.[br]
Despite that, Charlotte Bronte's protagonists are innovative, as they crave and eventually gain independence. Patriarchy is fought and women get a new different role in society, where everything is not about marriage anymore, while her heroines are self-confident, strong-willed and passionate.
Genre- Jane Eyre is a novel published in 1847 which soon became a commercial success. It is a mixture of fictional autobiography and Bildungsroman. It kind of presents two levels: on the first one it is a love story which tells the passion between Jane and Mr Rochester; on the second one it is a gothic story with descriptions of doors slumming and recurring secrets.[br]
Plot - Jane Eyre is the story of an orphan who faces adversities and is made stronger by her experiences, divided into three parts: her childhood at the boarding school, her period as a governess when she falls in love with Mr Rochester until she finds out he's secretly married to Bertha Mason, and her life after she moved away, although due to the events she ends up marrying Mr Rochester. At the end of the novel, she reaches self-realisation and happiness.
Themes- Love and passion are an important theme, but Jane turns out to be an unconventional woman who doesn't aspire to a happy marriage as every Victorian woman does, but her priorities are passion, strength and intelligence. She doesn't care about conventions and through honesty and straightfowardness she unveils the hypocrisy of the society of the time. The heroine is a rebel who demands independence and self-realisation because self-reliance is not only a male prerogative.
The novel was condamned for not respecting gender roles nor the Victorian ideals of self-restraint and order, and for attacking some aspects of religion.[br]
Indeed, Jane Eyre represents a voice for the author through the first person narration. Events are told from the point of view of the protagonist but in retrospect, so that the narrator seems omniscient but suspence is not missing.