Download Charlotte Brontë by Pauline Nestor (auth.) PDF

By Pauline Nestor (auth.)

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Lucy, in contrast, obsessively details her fearful channel crossing during which she is cheated and treated with disdain. She feels overwhelmingly insecure in a foreign land, unable to speak the language and unsure of its mores. The parallels are clearly drawn -- culturally dispossessed, she is deprived of her luggage; displaced, she has nowhere to go and becomes lost; vulnerable, she is pursued through the night streets by two men, 'my dreaded hunters' (56). Crimsworth's acquisition of financial security and intellectual respect with the progress of his career on the Continent are conventional elements in a personal success story.

And she replies 'I am a thousand times better: I am an honest woman, and as such I will be treated' (S 556). It is in the area of female sexuality, however, that Bronte's treatment of her heroines is in some senses problematic. Her novels are fraught with tension between a female independence of spirit and action and a feminine dependence in love relationships. Bronte's ambivalence is evident, too, in the creation of her heroes. They are consistently represented as masters with the women frequently adopting correspondingly subservient positions.

She is exhorted to 'remain silent' (8) and 'sit still' (12) and her aunt stipulates that it is 'only on condition of perfect submission and stillness' (18) that Jane shall be liberated from the red room. She is outcast because of her passion and 'repulsive' violence. In all, Jane is confronted by an array of repression which a great many Victorian women might have recognised as dreadfully familiar. Jane's desire 'to achieve escape from insupportable oppression' (15) is suggested by her frequent movement towards the window, which opens out into a space not controlled by her oppressors.

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