JaneEyrebyCharlotteBronte0033

JaneEyrebyCharlotteBronte0033 - Jane Eyre by Charlotte...

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Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte Context CHARLOTTE BRONTË WAS BORN IN YORKSHIRE, England on April 21, 1816 to Maria Branwell and Patrick Brontë. Because Charlotte’s mother died when Charlotte was five years old, Charlotte’s aunt, a devout Methodist, helped her brother-in-law raise his children. In 1824 Charlotte and three of her sisters—Maria, Elizabeth, and Emily—were sent to Cowan Bridge, a school for clergymen’s daughters. When an outbreak of tuberculosis killed Maria and Elizabeth, Charlotte and Emily were brought home. Several years later, Charlotte returned to school, this time in Roe Head, England. She became a teacher at the school in 1835 but decided after several years to become a private governess instead. She was hired to live with and tutor the children of the wealthy Sidgewick family in 1839, but the job was a misery to her and she soon left it. Once Charlotte recognized that her dream of starting her own school was not immediately realizable, however, she returned to working as a governess, this time for a different family. Finding herself equally disappointed with governess work the second time around, Charlotte recruited her sisters to join her in more serious preparation for the establishment of a school. Although the Brontës’ school was unsuccessful, their literary projects flourished. At a young age, the children created a fictional world they named Angria, and their many stories, poems, and plays were early predictors of shared writing talent that eventually led Emily, Anne, and Charlotte to careers as novelists. As adults, Charlotte suggested that she, Anne, and Emily collaborate on a book of poems. The three sisters published under male pseudonyms: Charlotte’s was Currer Bell, while Emily and Anne wrote as Ellis and Acton Bell, respectively. When the poetry volume received little public notice, the sisters decided to work on separate novels but retained the same pseudonyms. Anne and Emily produced their masterpieces in 1847, but Charlotte’s first book, The Professor, never found a willing publisher during her lifetime. Charlotte wrote Jane Eyre later that year. The book, a critique of Victorian assumptions about gender and social class, became one of the most successful novels of its era, both critically and commercially. Autobiographical elements are recognizable throughout Jane Eyre . Jane’s experience at Lowood School, where her dearest friend dies of tuberculosis, recalls the death of Charlotte’s sisters at Cowan Bridge. The hypocritical religious fervor of the headmaster, Mr. Brocklehurst, is based in part on that of the Reverend Carus Wilson, the Evangelical minister who ran Cowan Bridge. Charlotte took revenge upon the school that treated her so poorly by using it as the basis for the fictional Lowood. Jane’s friend Helen Burns’s tragic death from tuberculosis recalls the deaths of two of Charlotte’s sisters, Maria and Elizabeth, who succumbed to the same disease during their time at Cowan Bridge. Additionally, John Reed’s decline into alcoholism and dissolution is most
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This note was uploaded on 12/03/2011 for the course ENG 230 taught by Professor Dvtrew during the Spring '11 term at Columbia College.

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JaneEyrebyCharlotteBronte0033 - Jane Eyre by Charlotte...

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