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Before You BeginCharlotte Brontë was a notable novelist of the nineteenth century known primarily for her novel 

Jane Eyre, which has become a literary classic. According to literary scholar Joyce M.S. Tompkins, it was also a seminal work, providing the "fruitful innovations" of "presentation of a tale through the sensibility of a child or young woman, her lyricism, and the picture of love from a woman's standpoint."


Virginia Woolf was a most notable novelist of the 20th century. According to literary scholar Panthea Reid, she not only "exerted a major influence on the genre" through her own novels but "also wrote pioneering essays on artistic theory, literary history, women's writing, and the politics of power." Not surprisingly, she turned her eye on Brontë's masterpiece, providing an intriguing perspective on the novel's enduring hold on readers.

Directions

Your task in this project is to learn more about Charlotte Brontë's life and work, and to read and evaluate an essay written by Virginia Woolf about Jane Eyre. To carry it out, you will conduct a webquest, examining content from multiple reliable Internet sites in order to gather information to address a research question evaluating Virginia Woolfe's critique on the lasting appeal of Bronte's Jane Eyre. Focus on the following topics as you search:

  • the cultural norms during Brontë's time, especially in regard to women's roles
  • Brontë's own personal background and how it may have shaped the development of her novel
  • the literary period which influenced Brontë and how she also influenced the literary period
  • the characteristics of Brontë's novel which were unique, or new, to the time, not only in content, but also in literary form
  • the reception the novel received upon initial publication, as well as how others have received it over the years
  • the ideas and experiences that shaped Virginia Woolfe's reading and response to Brontë's novel


After you have completed your webquest, you are ready to write a brief summary of Woolf's analysis of Jane Eyre. Before writing, you need to think about what you have read. Use these questions to guide your thinking:

  • What does Virginia Woolf say is the reason for Jane Eyre's continuing appeal to readers?
  • What do scholars and critics say about Woolf's view of Jane Eyre?
  • What do other scholars and critics say about Jane Eyre?

If you are planning on comparing and contrasting Woolf's views to those of other critics, you might use one of two organizational patterns. One is the block order, a comparative organization that covers all the points on one item of comparison before addressing the points of the other item.

Block Order

  • Introduction
  • First item being compared
  • Detail 1
  • Detail 2
  • Details 3
  • Second item being compared
  • Conclusion

The other is the alternating order, in which you address the views of each comparison point, one at a time.

Alternating Order

  • Introduction
  • Detail 1 being compared
  • First item
  • Second item
  • Detail 2 being compared
  • First item
  • Second item
  • Detail 3 being compared
  • First item
  • Second item
  • Conclusion

Organize the notes you took on your webquest, grouping together statements and examples by Woolf and those by other scholars and critics. Use your notes and comments to develop a thesis, the central idea, expressed in one sentence, of your essay. That thesis should take a position on whether you think Woolf does or does not correctly account for the continuing popularity of Jane Eyre. Review your notes to see what evidence supports your thesis. Rank your supporting points from most important to least important.

Select one of the above organizational patterns from above, and write a summary of at least 500 words that describes Woolf's views about Jane Eyre. Based on what you have read, do you think Woolf's analysis explains why Jane Eyrecontinues to appeal to readers? Why or why not?

Be sure to edit your summary for grammar and conventions, and to use MLA guidelines for in-text citations and a works cited page. Click here to view the MLA Style Guide.

Finally, after you have finished the final draft of your summary, you will present it to a small group of your peers. Your presentation will be no more than 1-3 minutes in length, and does not necessarily need to be accompanied by a visual presentation, unless you wish to add items such as photos to enhance your ideas.


Submit your summary in the space below. Your teacher will provide specific instructions for the oral presentation of your summary.

Answer & Explanation
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Step-by-step explanation

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