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Charlotte Brontee Life and Literature JANE EYRE

Charlotte Brontee Life and Literature

Life and Literature [Charlotte Brontee ]

Charlotte Brontë was a British novelist of the Victorian era, the eldest out of the three famous Brontë sisters whose novels have become standards of English literature. Charlotte Brontë was born in Thornton, Yorkshire, England, the third of six children, to Patrick Brontë (formerly “Patrick Brunty’), an Irish Anglican clergyman, and his wife, Maria Branwell.

In April 1820 the family moved a few miles to Haworth, a remote town on the Yorkshire moors, where Patrick had been appointed Perpetual Curate. This is where the Brontë children would spend most of their lives. Maria Branwell Brontë died from what was thought to be cancer on 15 September 1821, leaving five daughters and a son to the care of her spinster sister Elizabeth Branwell, who moved to Yorkshire to help the family.

In August 1824 Charlotte, along with her sisters Emily, Maria, and Elizabeth, was sent to the Clergy Daughters’ School at Cowan Bridge in Lancashire, a new school for the daughters of poor clergyman (which she would describe as Lowood School in Jane Eyre). The school was a horrific experience for the girls and conditions were appalling. They were regularly deprived of food, beaten by teachers and humiliated for the slightest error.

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The school was unheated and the pupils slept two to a bed for warmth. Seven pupils died in a typhus epidemic that swept the school and all four of the Brontë girls became very ill – Maria and Elizabeth dying of tuberculosis in 1825. Her experiences at the school deeply affected Brontë – her health never recovered and she immortalised the cruel and brutal treatment in her novel, Jane Eyre. Following the tragedy, their father withdrew his daughters from the school.

At home in Haworth Parsonage, Charlotte and the other surviving children — Branwell, Emily, and Anne – continued their ad-hoc education. In 1826 her father returned home with a box of toy soldiers for Branwell. They would prove the catalyst for the sisters’ extraordinary creative development as they immediately set to creating lives and characters for the soldiers, inventing a world for them which the siblings called ‘Angria’.

The siblings became addicted to writing, creating stories, poetry and plays. Brontë later said that the reason for this burst of creativity was that: ‘We were wholly dependent on ourselves and each other, on books and study, for the enjoyments and occupations of life. The highest stimulus, as well as the liveliest pleasure we had known from childhood upwards, lay in attempts at literary composition.’

After her father began to suffer from a lung disorder, Charlotte was again sent to school to complete her education at Roe Head school in Mirfield from 1831 to 1832, where she met her lifelong friends and correspondents, Ellen Nussey and Mary Taylor. During this period (1833), she wrote her, novella The Green Dwarf under the name of Wellesley. The school was extremely small with only ten pupils meaning the top floor was completely unused and believed to be supposedly haunted by the ghost of a young lady dressed in silk. This story fascinated Brontë and inspired the figure of Mrs Rochester in Jane Eyre.

Brontë left the school after a few years, however she swiftly returned in 1835 to take up a position as a teacher, and used her wages to pay for Emily and Anne to be taught at the school, Teaching did not appeal to Bronte and in 1990 she left Roe Head to become a governess to the Sidgewick familly — partly from a sense of adventure and a desire to see the world, and partly from financial necessity.

Charlotte became pregnant soon after her wedding, but her health declined rapidly and, according to blographer Elizabeth Gaskell, she was attacked by “sensations of perpetual nausea and ever-recurring falntness.” She died with her unborn child, on 31 March 1855, Charlotte’s first novel, The Professor (published posthumously, 1857), shows her sober reaction from the indulgences of her girlhood.

Told in the first person by an English tutor in Brussels, it is based on Charlotte’s experiences there, with a reversal of sexes and roles. The necessity of her genius, reinforced by reading her sister Emily’s Wuthering Heights, modified this restrictive self-discipline, and, though there is plenty of satire and dry, direct phrasing in Jane Eyre, its success was the fiery conviction with which it presented a thinking, feeling woman, craving love but able to renounce it at the call of impassioned self-respect and moral conviction.

The book’s narrator and main character, Jane Eyre, is an orphan and is governess to the ward of Mr. Rochester, the Byronic and enigmatic employer with whom she falls in love. Her love is reciprocated, but on the wedding morning it comes out that Rochester is already married and keeps his mad and depraved wife in the attic of his mansion. Jane leaves him, suffers hardship, and finds work as a village schoolmistress.

When Jane learns, however, that Rochester has been maimed and blinded while trying vainly to rescue his wife from the burning house that she herself had set afire, Jane seeks him out and marries him. There are melodramatic naïvetés in the story, and Charlotte’s elevated rhetorical passages do not much appeal to modern taste, but she maintains her hold on the reader.

The novel, purporting to be an autobiography, is written in the first person, but, except in Jane Eyre’s impressions of Lowood, the autobiography is not Charlotte’s. Personal experience is fused with suggestions from widely different sources, and the Cinderella theme may well come from Samuel Richardson’s novel Pamela. The action is carefully motivated, and apparently episodic sections, like the return to Gateshead Hall, are seen to be necessary to the full expression of Jane’s character and the working out of the threefold moral theme of love, independence, and forgiveness.

In her novel Shirley. Charlotte avoided melodrama and coincidences and widened her scope. Setting aside Maria Edgeworth and Sir Walter Scott as national novelists, Shirley is the first regional novel in English, full of shrewdly depicted local material-Yorkshire characters, church and chapel, the cloth workers and machine breakers of her father’s early manhood, and a sturdy but rather embittered feminism.

In Villette Charlotte recurred to the Brussels setting and the first-person narrative, disused in Shirley, the characters and incidents are largely variants of the people and life at the Pension Héger. Against that background she set the ardent heart, deprived of its object, contrasted with the woman happily fulfilled in love.

The influence of Charlotte’s novels was much more immediate than that of Wuthering Heights. Charlotte’s combination of romance and satiric realism had been the mode of nearly all the women novelists for a century. Her fruitful innovations were the 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.

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Charlotte Brontee Life and Literature JANE EYR Charlotte Brontee Life and Literature JANE EYR Charlotte Brontee Life and Literature JANE EYR Charlotte Brontee Life and Literature JANE EYR Charlotte Brontee Life and Literature JANE EYR Charlotte Brontee Life and Literature JANE EYR Charlotte Brontee Life and Literature JANE EYR Charlotte Brontee Life and Literature JANE EYR Charlotte Brontee Life and Literature JANE EYR

Charlotte Brontee Life and Literature JANE EYR Charlotte Brontee Life and Literature JANE EYR Charlotte Brontee Life and Literature JANE EYR Charlotte Brontee Life and Literature JANE EYR Charlotte Brontee Life and Literature JANE EYR Charlotte Brontee Life and Literature JANE EYR Charlotte Brontee Life and Literature JANE EYR Charlotte Brontee Life and Literature JANE EYR Charlotte Brontee Life and Literature JANE EYR

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