Critical quotes- Jane Eyre

Libby Caffrey
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Note on Critical quotes- Jane Eyre, created by Libby Caffrey on 04/14/2013.

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Libby Caffrey
Created by Libby Caffrey about 6 years ago
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SOCIO ECONOMIC CRITICAL QUOTES- JANE EYRE

“Class difference with Jane provides an extra dose of sexual arousal as it reproduces more strongly the domination/ subordination relation.” Jina PolitiJane's perception of the gap between Rochester and her= 'keep to your caste'/ self-made prison 'issuing from my asylum'Idea of the 'marriage market'- presentation of other female characters e.g. Rosamund Oliver/ Blanche Ingram/ The head mistress, Miss Temple, attaches herself to "powerful or economically viable men" (Rich 470)'the popularity... illegitimate love' RigbyComparison of Jane to Blanche 'indigent and insignificant plebeian'+ 'disconnected, poor and plain'/ 'noble lady'

“The plot of Jane Eyre works towards a redistribution of power and wealth but […] its revolution improves only the lot of the middle class, closing out the working class.” Susan MeyerROLE OF GOVERNESS= causes social mobility (new middle classes/ wealth because of industrial revolution) but between classes ('you are worse than a servant'/ 'a dependent'/ 'you shouldn't eat food with gentleman's children like us')('In her I see all the faults of her class','the whole tribe... a nuisance... all incubi')(At Thornfield Jane is surrounded by other ‘outcasts’ who search for avenues of escape from patriarchal containment and restrictions largely connected to "ambiguities of status" Gilbert and Gubar                = “one of the central problems of the novel [is] the apparently blithe predication of the liberty and happiness of a few upon the confinement and suffering of the many.” Penny Boumelha)Inheritance makes Jane more 'masculine' in that she gains financial independence/ only marries- many critics, such as Richard Chase, see Rochester’s injuries as a “symbolic castration”, a punishment for his earlier promiscuity

Barbara Hardy considers the central structure of the narrative to be a religious one, “In Jane Eyre, the religious explanation determines motive and action.” Religion is representative of repressive Victorian patriarchy; e.g. Brocklehurst ('Victorian super-ego'Gilbert and Gubar)- 'girls... must conform to God'- either verbally ostracised (e.g. Jane) or physically 'maimed' (e.g. hair cut)/ symbolism of the 'walled garden' in reference to the 'cultivation of wild nature' influence of post-enlightenment scientific movement on Victorian education/ "orphan girls are starved or frozen into proper Christian submission"Gilbert and Gubar /Jane's rebellious nature ('rebel slave') + admiration of King Charles e.g. St John- 'like a rayless dungeon'/ 'my iron shroud contracted around me'/ 'compressed, condensed, controlled'/ 'as his wife... always restrained, always checked- forced to keep the fire of my nature continually low...- this would be unendurable'

FEMINIST CRITICAL QUOTES- JANE EYRE

“Bertha Mason […] is the incarceration of the flesh, of female sexuality in its most irredeemably bestial and terrifying form.” Elaine ShowalterPhysically constrained by Rochester ('bluebeard') as example of woman having been driven mad by passion 'for rigid self-control is the only way women can survive in the Victorian sexual hierarchy' Anderson ·      "Those most subject to 'wrongful confinement,'" Deborah Logan reveals, "were women 'who refuse to submit to the authority and control' of their husbands" Bertha is described as Jane’s “dark double” by feminist writers Sandra Gilbert and Susan Gubar: “Bertha is Jane’s truest and darkest double: the angry aspect of the orphan child, the ferocious secret self Jane has been trying to repress ever since her days at Gateshead.” 'as Bertha's passion eventually proves fatal, it becomes clear that Jane must gain control over her passion or be destroyed.' Johnson

Symbolism of Red room as  “land of patriarchal death chamber”/"perfectly represents her [Jane's] vision of the society in which she is trapped" (Gilbert and Gubar 340). The red room also functions as a motif of "enclosure and escape" (340)- for Jane "the fresh air and open countryside remain . . . symbols of personal freedom and independence" (Meyer 85)Link to description of 'asylum'Jane is unable to leave the Red room until she conforms to ideal Victorian woman who submits (by fainting) and emerges weak and having to be 'lifted and supported'

Mary Taylor criticised the novel for not being hardline enough on the issues of ‘rights for women’ or ‘equal opportunity’Mary Wollstonecraft's A Vindication of the Rights of Woman, published more than a half-century earlier.

Women who lack a place engender fear "in a culture whose solidarity depends on women's having, and keeping, their proper place" (Logan 24) At Thornfield Jane is surrounded by other ‘outcasts’ who search for avenues of escape from patriarchal containment and restrictions largely connected to "ambiguities of status" Gilbert and GubarSignificantly, Grace Poole (who embodies worst view of women in being a drunkard) represents the "emblem of those ordinary women who . . . guard silently a mystery 'nobody knows': their true feelings" (De Lamotte 202)

Repression through use of religione.g. Brocklehurst ('Victorian super-ego'Gilbert and Gubar)- 'girls... must conform to God'- either verbally ostracised (e.g. Jane) or physically 'maimed' (e.g. hair cut)/ symbolism of the 'walled garden' in reference to the 'cultivation of wild nature' influence of post-enlightenment scientific movement on Victorian education/ "orphan girls are starved or frozen into proper Christian submission"Gilbert and Gubar /Jane's rebellious nature ('rebel slave') + admiration of King Charles e.g. St John- 'like a rayless dungeon'/ 'my iron shroud contracted around me'/ 'compressed, condensed, controlled'/ 'as his wife... always restrained, always checked- forced to keep the fire of my nature continually low...- this would be unendurable'

“we are conscious not merely of the writer's character...we are conscious of a woman's presence—of someone resenting the treatment of her sex and pleading for its rights.” Virginia Woolf

POST-COLONIAL/ RACIST CRITICAL QUOTES- JANE EYRE 

Jean Rhys’ Wide Sargasso Sea (1966) explains Rochester’s time in the Caribbean from Bertha Mason’s point of view. It provides some thought-provoking feminist criticism in the form of a prequel novel.BOTH FEMINIST/POST-COLONIAL; 'creole' woman restrained by english maleSymbolism of colonies as rebellious against patriarchal british society. ('rebel slave')Comparison of Jane to Bertha “Sandra Gilbert and Susan Gubar: “Bertha is Jane’s truest and darkest double”= JANE AS OUTSIDER/REBELLIOUS/ PASSIONATE'The most frequent recurrence of the racial metaphor in this novel is the sometimes covert, sometimes overt comparison of Jane to an African slave” Susan Meyer.“When Jane Eyre opens, Jane is in the position of outsider or ‘other’ in the Reed family, a position marked by images of racial difference.” Elsie Mite

Racism as Bertha is described as mad because of her wild roots in the west-Indies (sense that Bertha's refusal to be constrained by the oppressive white man is symbolic of her passionate nature)Feeds into criticism "Those most subject to 'wrongful confinement,'" Deborah Logan reveals, "were women 'who refuse to submit to the authority and control' of their husbands"Day's pseudo-scientific analysis of "Negro inferiority," like statements by the later Social Darwinists, attributes this supposed inferiority to both genetic and environmental conditions. It parallels Rochester's attitude toward Bertha. Both illustrate how "racism" entailed a mixture of British self-superiority with a fear toward the madness and violence of "Negroes," Creoles, and other racial inferiors. Blackwood's review includes several of Day's claims that "Negroes, and the coloured tribes generally, are given to immoderate bursts of laughter, without any sufficiently exciting cause . . .[and] their blood is inflamed . . .by their climate and by their" inherent nature.'After offering a variety of associations between madness and "impure" racial composition, Rochester, like Day, reverts to West Indian climate as a cultivating force of such madness, a kind of hell for the "civilized" Englishman.' Keunjeng Cho  (WIDE SARGASSO SEA)

Rochester loosely associates "madness" with Bertha's racially "impure" lineage as well as the tropical West Indian climate in which she grew up. He mentions "the fiery West Indian" place of Bertha's upbringing (ch 27) and her Creole blood as the roots of her insanity. He claims that "Bertha Mason is mad [because] she came of a mad family;--idiots and maniacs through three generations! Her mother, the Creole, was both a mad woman and a drunkard!" (ch 26). 

PSYCHOANALYTICAL CRITICAL QUOTES- JANE EYRE

A psychoanalytic critic, Dianne Sadoff, writes that “Rochester, like Oedipus, must pay for his metaphorically incestuous desire for the girl-governess by losing his sight”.Symbolism of Rochester's direct/objectifying gaze and dominance of patriarchy causing objectification/ patronisation of Jane ('my little wife')

Elizabeth Rigby, writing for a conservative periodical in 1848, wrote that “the tone of mind and thought which has overthrown authority and violated every code human and divine… is the same which has also written Jane Eyre.” 

Marxist

Feminist

Post-colonial

Psychoanalytical