Bharath Balabaskar Jacob Roy Molly EllingerReese AllenRags to Riches:An Orphan’s Journey
The novel, Jane Eyre, is a perfect example of a 19th century bildungsroman. A bildungsroman is generally defined as the story of a single character’s psychological and moral growth within the context of a defined social order, and ends when the character recognizes his/her place in the world, just as Jane does in the end of her story. In short, Jane Eyre is a bildungsroman, as Jane starts from an unloved, isolated girl who questions her belonging, and eventually, after 500 pages, discovers her own inner strength, independence, and place in the world. Introduction
What is a bildungsroman?●A “growing up” story that follows the formative years of a character’s development.●The genre evolved from folklore tales of a dunce going out in the world to seek their fortune.●Focuses on emotions and experiences to show development/education.●Usually follow a pattern: the sensitive protagonist leaves home and undergoes stages of conflict and love affairs before returning to a final resting place better than ever.●A bildungsroman can be very short and to-the-point or, like Jane Eyre, 183,858 words
“A bildungsroman, or coming-of-age novel , recounts the psychological and moral development of its protagonist from youth to maturity, when this character recognizes his or her place in the world. Select a single moment in the psychological or moral development of the protagonist of a bildungsroman”The prompt asks you to identify and explain a significant moment, or turning point, in Jane’s development from a poor,mistreated, uneducated, and quick-tempered child to a more compassionate, thoughtful, wealthy, and independent woman.Literal meaning of the promptIt would be beneficial to explain how this moment is important to the overall purpose of the novel and connect Jane’s experiences to the experiences of Charlotte Bronte and other women during the 19th century. It is best to keep in mind the key elements of a bildungsroman:●A physical and psychological journey●Struggle and tragedy●Love affairs●Loss of innocenceI know there is, because it does not sound too sweet. It is not like such words as Liberty, Excitement, Enjoyment: delightful words… But Servitude!
Example #1 and analysisLowood, pg 82:“I heard her with wonder: I could not comprehend this doctrine of endurance; and still less could I understand or sympathise with the forbearance she expressed for her chastiser.”Analysis: After seeing Helen get hit by Ms Scatcherd without any real offense, Jane confronts Helen to ask how she could bear it. Helen teaches her a lesson in humility and patience, which Jane at the time cannot comprehend. But when Jane is unfairly singled out by Mr Brocklehurst, she is hurt, but then remembers what Helen says and perseveres, eventually becoming the head of her class and later a teacher. Jane remembers this throughout the rest of her life, and the lesson in patience makes her a better governess, the lesson in