Annotated Bibliography of “Jane Eyre” Resources & Criticisms
Alexander, Christine. “’That kingdom of gloom:’ Charlotte Bronte, the Annuals, and the Gothic”. Nineteenth Century Literature. Cengage Learning. Inc. March 1993.
Author Christine Alexander examines the Gothic experiences that Jane has that can relate to Charlotte Bronte’s own life. Giving evidence showing how Jane is a double for Bronte starts the discussion of the Gothic events within the novel. Alexander discusses how by using numerous Gothic events throughout Jane Eyre, shows Bronte’s own fears in life. All of the Bronte sisters went through death, sadness and despair that can be reflected in all of their novels, even if the novels were written out of the “Gothic Era”. Alexander also discusses the idea of Bronte using the romanticized context in Jane Eyre, but turning it around into a more terrifying scene but still including the nature and landscape. Bronte uses these Gothic inspirations to free her mind and the terror and fears that come with it. This excerpt of the book not only shows the examples of numerous events in Jane Eyre that have a Gothic standpoint, it also shows how the Bronte sisters’ own lives are reflected in all of their novels with Gothic events. The excerpt written by Alexander shows how the Gothic events in the novel are related to the Bronte’s in a biographical way.
DeLamotte, Eugenia C. Perils of the Night: A Feminist Study of Nineteenth- Century Gothic. Oxford : 1990. E-book.
Author Eugenia DeLamotte also examines the use of Gothicism in the literature of the 19th century. However, when specifically analyzing Jane Eyre, DeLamotte discusses how gothicism is not only seen in general in the novel, but how this literary genre is used in a feminist way. DeLamotte mentions how the fears and horrors experienced in the common gothic novel can be seen in Jane Eyre, but from the feminine view that changes the perspective and fear of the meaning. DeLamotte uses the example as Jane is worried about “confinement” but instead of the literal sense, the woman character is confined to her daily tasks and chores that are required in the typical housewife of the 19th century. DeLamotte also discusses the ways that Bronte uses gothicism in two different ways. In Jane Eyre, the images of “dark hallways”, “gloomy light” and so forth not only show the typical gothic images, but also reflect the fear of Jane as the “confined” housewife. DeLamotte uses examples that show how these images give Jane the fear of her character’s future and what it might hold as a governess in Thornfield Hall. In Perils of the Night, DeLamotte discusses numerous pieces of literature other than Jane Eyre. DeLamotte connects the gothic elements seen in other Bronte pieces and Jane Austen to show how gothicism not only shows a clear terror for a character, but also the bigger picture in a feminist view in multiple works of women’s literature.
Dooley, Deborah A. “Literary Contexts in Novels: Charlotte Bronte’s ‘Jane Eyre.’ Understanding Literature (2005) Web. 9 Nov. 2015.
Not only does Dooley’s source begin with a summary of the actual novel of Jane Eyre, the author looks at the novel with many different viewpoints on how to analyze it. These viewpoints include historical, societal, religious, scientific and biographical. Each of these viewpoints analyzes the novel in a simplified fashion to make analyzing the novel easier. When using each of these different analyzation topics, readers can have a base when analyzing the novel. Dooley looks at the historical context in the book in how Jane Eyre related to England at the time the novel was written. The societal context was used in the sense of how the role of women in England’s society played into how the character of Jane was in the novel. Within the religious analyzation, Dooley writes of Bronte’s responses to the Christian critics of her time. From the tragedies of her life, their is a debate on Jane’s own religious beliefs and the “uses and abuses” of these experiences and tragedies. Within the scientific and technological contexts, Dooley examines how because of England’s society, how women were affected both physically and psychically and how this plays a role into the psychiatric science of 19th century England. The last of these analyzations is the discussion of Bronte’s own life and how it coincides with what experiences Jane has within the novel. Many of the events in Bronte’s and her sister’s lives were an inspiration in Jane Eyre.
Zonana, Joyce. “The Sultan and the Slave: Feminist Orientalism and the Structure of “Jane Eyre””. Signs 18.3 (1993): 592–617. Web. 09 Nov. 2015.
Joyce Zonana approaches Jane Eyre a feminist analyzation. The title “The Sultan and the Slave”, reflect Zonana’s views on the treatment of Rochester towards Jane. The author of discusses the feelings that Jane felt throughout the engagement through the wedding. Zonana uses the terms “Sultan” and “Slave” to discuss the ongoing relationship between Jane and Rochester. Zonana uses the example of how Rochester required Jane to go to the dress shop and have all these extravagant dresses made, even if it made Jane extremely uncomfortable. When using the terms “sultan” and “slave” it shows the relationship of the power that Rochester has over Jane. Zonana discusses how this power struggle relationship reflects the patriarchal society of 19th century England in the period that Jane Eyre was written. Zonana discusses the relationship between Jane Eyre, and the use of oriental culture that can be seen with many examples throughout the novel. Zonana’s view and analyzation of Jane Eyre shows the approach of feminism and what it means in terms of Orientalism. The novel shows a relationship between patriarchy in Rochester as well as a completely different culture. By pointing out these similarities, Zonana gives the views of Jane as a character, and the views of Bronte as a writer just from analyzation.