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Writing back: perceptions of women in Jane Eyre's and Charlotte Brontë's fictional afterlives
thesisposted on 2022-03-28, 10:59 authored by Johanna Syring
Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre has remained a playground for essentially different variations of adapting, revisioning and rewriting since its publication in 1847 until now. It can be read as a romance, in which Jane and Mr Rochester are finally reunited and married. However, it can also be interpreted as a novel that challenges and criticises power relations and class hierarchies. This thesis explores the intertextual relationship between the chosen neo-Victorian novels, Charlotte by D.M. Thomas and Coldwater by Mardi McConnochie in relation to their pretexts, Wide Sargasso Sea by Jean Rhys and Jane Eyre. The aim of this thesis is to offer new ways in which to understand feminist and postcolonial theory within neo-Victorian rewritings. The focus of this analysis is on the development of the construction of Victorian womanhood presented in Jane Eyre and its impact on the twenty-first century perception of female characters. In order to explore how the representations of women as well as the approach of writing back have evolved within Neo-Victorian Studies, this project adopts an intertextual comparative approach. Neo-Victorian novels have reshaped the literary heroine due to feminist and postcolonial criticism while partly supporting the development of female stereotypes as well.