english lit_2188 - the Old Testament give her life...

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the Old Testament give her life significance. As George Landor points out, Jane finds that Rochester is usurping the place of God, and two chapters later on, discovering Bertha, she envisions herself in consequence suffering the fate of Pharaoh before Moses, declaring: ‘My hopes were all dead – struck with a subtle doom, such as, in one night, fell on all the first-born in the land of Egypt’ (ch. 26).35 But a reading of evangelical literature only emphasizes Charlotte Brontë’s departure from previous models. The life and death of the saintly Helen Burns, which frames Jane’s progress, echoes the Reverend Legh Richmond’s The Dairyman’s Daughter (1809), a religious tract that sold an estimated 2

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