Annotated Bibliography: Jane Eyre Sources
Jane Eyre Sources for Fellow Researchers:
Pickrel, Paul. “Jane Eyre: The Apocalypse of the Body”. ELH 53.1 (1986): 165–182. Web.
Paul Pickrel (1986) discusses the destruction, as well as construction of identity found within Jane Eyre. Pickrel argues that during Jane’s employment at Thornfield, Mr. Rochester implores Jane to bring him back to life; furthermore, Mr. Rochester acts like a brute because of his diminished hope and pessimistic outlook on life, which stems from his guilt and burden of caring for Bertha. The background and upbringing of Mr. Rochester is also considered in this article, as Pickel looks at Rochester’s family, as well as his disastrous and forced marriage to a mad woman, thus concluding that every time Rochester invests emotions into another being, he has been let down, leading to Rochester building of an emotional wall, which prohibits kindness to protrude, thus a narcissistic, self-estranged character is fashioned. This article does a fantastic job of considering Rochester’s character through textual evidence, as well as discussing both the veiled and unveiled identity of Mr. Rochester.
Haigwood, Laura. “Jane Eyre, Eros And Evangelicalism.” Victorian Newsletter 104 (2003): 4-12. Humanities International Complete. Web.
Laura Hiagwood (2003) discusses the religious aspect found in Jane Eyre, and how it relates to Jane’s marriage to Rochester. Hiagwood discusses the gender inequalities of Jane’s era, and how she overcomes a portion of those obstacles throughout the novel. This article looks at the societal values that conflict with Jane and Rochester’s relationship, and how an evangelical discourse allows for Jane’s spiritual fulfillment. Hiagwood argues that Jane breaks traditional beliefs, does not believe in the “masculine images of God,” and is then capable of destroying the oppressive nature of patriarchy. In doing this, Jane can have a happy and equal marriage, thus fulfilling her spiritual and physical desire for Rochester. This article presents interesting perspectives of Jane and religion, as well as offers a fair amount of textual evidence to support the claims being made. It is a helpful source for anyone who is interested in looking at Jane’s spiritual and/or sexual fulfillment within Jane Eyre.
Lutz, Deborah. “Love as Homesickness: Longing for a Transcendental Home in Byron and the Dangerous Lover Narrative.” Midwest Quarterly 46.1 (2004): 23-38. Academic Search Complete. Web.
Deborah Lutz (2004) informs her audience of the Byronic hero, and its purpose within Jane Eyre. Lutz defines the Byronic hero to be someone who does not belong in the domestic public sphere, i.e. an exile or outlaw. The Byronic hero can only find redemption when he falls in love, but often this love is tormenting or prohibited due to societal law, thus an erotic romance follows suit. This can be found within Jane Eyre not only when Jane disagrees with her initial attraction to Rochester, since societal law would frown upon the wealth gap that exists between the couple. Also, after Jane discovers Rochester’s tormenting secret and curse (a part of being a Byronic hero), Jane leaves Thornfield with the knowledge that a marriage to a married man is not only wrong in terms of societal value, but wrong to her own convictions. This article is helpful in clarifying the origin of the Byronic hero, as well as demonstrating the purpose of the Byronic hero in romance novels. However, it spends a lot of time comparing Charlotte Bronte’s use of the Byronic hero to her sister, Emily Bronte, who also uses the Byronic figure in Wuthering Heights, thus only a small portion of the article truly relates to Jane Eyre.
Nelson, Barbara A. “”Reason Held with Passion by the Throat”.” Journal of Research in Gender Studies 4.2 (2014): 883-8.ProQuest. Web.
Barbara Nelson (2014) discusses a quote within Jane Eyre, which she believes is representative of Jane’s internal conflict of reason versus passion. When Jane’s first attempt at marrying Rochester is halted, Jane is taken to the attic of Thornfield where Rochester’s mad wife resides. At the time of the discovery, Rochester explains his torment, basically begging Jane to understand his reasoning. Nelson states that the following quote “conscience turned tyrant, held passion by the throat” (which follows the attic scene), demonstrates Jane’s passion for Rochester, and how it conflicts with her reasoning and moral beliefs. Thus, reason overcomes passion in this situation, causing Jane to flee Thornfield Hall. Nelson then compares the same conflict (passion vs. reason) to the film, Black Swan, and how its protagonist Nina is conflicted by her passion for ballet, and her growing delusions, or lack of reason. This article has some decent claims, however there is lack of textual evidence as compared to the above sources, and many of the claims Nelson presents about Jane Eyre are fairly well-known, thus no new information is provided for those seeking new perspectives.