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So, too, does it hold power over literary critics: Bronte's portrayal of the "lunatic" Bertha Mason has been analyzed from myriad perspectives, from the political to the feminist to the psychiatric to the antipsychiatric.
However, as Lennard J. Furthermore, romanticizing mental illness, especially as understood as madness, as some sort of feminist or colonialist rebellion, as put by Elizabeth J.
While madness-as-rebellion may have been one of the intentions of Bronte when writing Jane Eyre and Jean Rhys when writing her spinoff novel Wide Sargasso Sea, both texts should be analyzed from the perspective of mental illness itself as the disability it is, and not from the stereotype of insanity, which promotes a superficial binary between "insane" and "sane.
By doing so, Rhys accounts for where Bronte's single-sided and crude characterization falls short. Thus, Rhys necessitates Antoinette to be seen as the multifaceted, troubled character she is.
While Bronte's understanding of psychology should certainly not be condemned from a modernist perspective, neither should her dehumanizing depiction of Bertha be excused.
The character's one-sided and "animalistic" portrayal is deliberate: Furthermore, Bertha is only used to advance dualist means, serving as a thematic contrast and mirror to Jane as her "opposite, her image horribly distorted in a warped mirror" Donaldson et. The reader is moreover relieved when Bertha, seen as the "monster" and the "maniac" to use Bronte's own termsfalls to her death from the roof of Thornfield Hall.
In fact, Bronte herself admitted, "'It is true that Jane eyre binary pity ought Jane eyre binary be the only sentiment elicited by the view of such degradation [as Bertha's], and equally true is it that I have not sufficiently dwelt on that feeling; I have erred in making horror too predominant"' qtd.
While degradation such as this certainly drives Jane Eyre forward, it is questionable whether this is fair to the character herself and to the realm of mental disabilities overall. One reading Jane Eyre today will certainly find Bronte's depiction of Bertha to be "dated Such was the motivation of Rhys.
She approached the project which would ultimately become Wide Sargasso Sea as a deliberate attempt to humanize the Creole character seen simply as a unidimensional impediment in Jane Eyre, stating in letters "She seemed such a poor ghost, I thought I'd like to write her life" qtd.
Though Rhys was not herself an adamant activist for those with mental illness, at least from today's perspective, she was undoubtedly influenced by the changing cultural thinking about psychiatry and mental illness in the s.
Donaldson, noting how Rhys departs significantly from ]ane Eyre's portrayal of madness, points out, "By stressing the causal factors that contribute to Antoinette's emotional state, Rhys also makes it easier for readers to understand and to identify with the originally enigmatic and inarticulate character" Furthermore, it is important to note how Rhys emphasizes the confluence of factors which lead to Antoinette's mental decline: Rhys toys at length with the idea of multiplicity, a key factor which leads to the unique richness of Wide Sargasso Sea, especially in contrast to Jane Eyre's unidimensional nature.
In Bronte's work, Jane is the sole narrator; thus, there is Jane, and there is the Other.
Whether this "Other" be Rochester or Bertha or any character in the novel, the work is highly dualist. The voice of Grace Poole, too, is heard briefly, providing another perspective on the difficult place of women even in England.
Thus, through multiple perspectives, Rhys is able to show the accompanying ambiguity and complexity of the life of a white Creole woman, torn between cultures and between races, trying to identify with one or the other yet being rejected by both.
Antoinette, and the other white Creoles, are called "white cockroaches" by the black population in the Caribbean and "white niggers" by the white population in England Rhys 60 ; Antoinette is spurned by both her black Caribbean peers most notably Tia and her English husband.
As Rhys dismantles the clear distinction between black and white, between English and native, so too does she blur the assumed divide between sanity and insanity. She has created a variety of "third spaces" in which these ambiguities can exist.
By doing so, she is able to portray mental illness as it is realistically experienced: Though other critics have spoken of these "third spaces," it is necessary to note how even characters within the novel refuse to admit they exist, especially when it comes to the question of sanity.
Furthermore, the character that does admit to some indescribable in-between - the headstrong and powerful Christophine - is seen as a source of sagacity. Her point of view, then, should be given more weight than that of those who believe only the binary. Though different instances can be identified during which cracks develop in the glass of Antoinette's fragile mental state, it is impossible to say that she ever becomes completely and utterly "insane.
Here, Rhys allows us inside Antoinette's mind at its most broken. She asks, "What am I doing in this place and who am I? She is within the "third space" that is undefinable by those around her yet certainly exists. Christophine, on the other hand, is not so quick to label. They tell her she is mad, they act like she is mad Christophine, when contrasted to the other two voices, Rochester and Antoinette, each having significant emotional biases, is the voice of reason in the novel, described even by Rochester as having a "judge's voice" Furthermore, in Part One she is described at length in contrast to other members of the public: Her mother, too, notes the power Christophine holds in their lives: Thus, Christophine's inability to fully describe the final mental state of Antoinette's mother - and, by extension, Antoinette herself - displays how attempting to operate within a system that transcends the use of binary language ultimately is unsuccessful.En poursuivant votre navigation sur ce site, vous acceptez l'utilisation de cookies.
Ces derniers assurent le bon fonctionnement de nos services. THE GREAT AMERICAN READ, hosted by Meredith Vieira, is an eight-part television and online series designed to spark a national conversation about reading and the books that have inspired, moved, and shaped plombier-nemours.com series will engage audiences with a list of diverse books.
Audiences are encouraged to read the books, vote from the list of , . Following are the inspiring quotes about karma with images. What goes around comes around!
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Wealthy and Poor Binary In Charlotte Bronte's Jane Eyre, the characters of Mr. Edward Fairfax Rochester and St. John Rivers represent the wealthy and poor binary. In this novel, Mr. Rochester is a man of respect and wealth.
He is a dark and passionate, older man with much experience and accomplishments.