BRONTE SISTERS IN VICTORIAN AGE
Victorian age.The Victorian Age (1830/1901) corresponds more or less to the life of Queen Victoria. She went to the throne when she was very young and she reigned for a very long period. This was a period of expansion of the British Empire, that reached its largest extension in the last years of Victorian’s Reign and included India, Australia, Northern America and Southern Africa.
British were proud of being the most important nation in the world and they brought their religion and their traditions in the colonies. They were so proud that, for example, they never mixed with Indian nobility.
The Victorian families were generally very large and also the Queen had a lot of children, who she brought with her (with the teachers and the servants) during her frequent travels. In the society and in the families was always underlined the difference between women and men, also in the education system. Women were considered in a particular way: they had to submit to the conventions and the models of behaviour of a society which wanted them to be relegated in a stereotyped role. They had to stay at home and brought up the children, they couldn’t work and also the Brontë sisters were obliged to use male pen names in order to be read.
THE BRONTE SISTERS RIASSUNTO
THE BRONTË SISTERS. The Brontë sisters, Anne, Emily and Charlotte, were the daughters of an Anglican clergyman and they were brought up with their two other sister and a brother by her mother’s sister. All the girls were sent to a cheap boarding school but within a year the two oldest girls died for tuberculosis and Charlotte and Emily were taken home immediately. Then the Brontë sisters spent the most of their life in isolation in Northern England, in the village of Haworth, an unhealthy, gloomy place. Apart from periods at school, they were mainly self educated. Like many female writers of that period, they decided to use pseudonyms and it was under these pen names that each of the sisters published a very important novel: Emily (Ellis) published Wuthering Heights, Charlotte (Currer) Jane Eyre and Anne (Acton Bell) Agnes Grey, but only Jane Eyre was immediately successful.
BRONTE SISTERS THEMES
JANE EYRE. FEATURES
• Jane Eyre is a training novel, because the reader fallows the growing up of the protagonist. The story, in fact, tells Jane’s pilgrimage from childhood to maturity. The stages of this journey are represented by the houses in which Jane lives. Each of them is connected to a phase in Jane’s life and in every phase Jane has to struggle against difficulties that enrich her personality.
• The novel is a fictitious autobiography, because the characters are invented, but the story is presented as a real biography.
• The protagonist herself writes down the story when she’s adult, so we have a first person narrator, because he and the chief character are the same. Everything is seen through the eyes of the narrator; sometimes Jane intrudes in the narration with her comments, so that we can call her a obtrusive narrator.
• In Jane Eyre we can see gothic elements: the sense of impending danger, the aura of mystery that surrounds Thornfield Hall and the fact that Mr. Rochester has something mysterious in his past.
• The are also some romantic elements, first of all the presence of a romantic hero, Mr. Rochester.