Bronte’s Janey Eyre & Villette

 Description Research Question: From a Feminist perspective, to what extent are Charlotte Brontë’s female protagonists, Jane Eyre and Lucy Snowe, successful in breaking free from the Victorian expectations of womanhood? Thesis: Although Lucy Snowe and Jane Eyre are both fiercely independent female protagonists who share a similar vision for themselves as women, Lucy Snowe is more successful in her pursuit of defying Victorian expectations of women than is Jane Eyre. Discussion and Scope: • The Woman Question: To fully answer the research questions, it will not be sufficient to merely look at the two characters within the context of their respective novels and within the Victorian era itself. A definition and a brief exploration of “the woman question” will be necessary. This section will create an understanding for the reader what the question is, and why it was emerging at that time. This will include a discussion of the social conditions of women during the Victorian era; traditional expectations as well as the early beginnings of change for the control women could have in their lives (Acts passed by Parliament, for example) will both be included. Additionally, this section will also explore what options women of various classes existed in this time of changes. This will set the foundation for understanding the context of each character and their respective novels. • Villette: What was Lucy’s vision of independence? What is the evidence of that? What actions does she take to achieve this vision? In addition to addressing these questions with textual evidence, connections will also be made to “the woman question.” How was she defying the traditional roles of Victorian society, and what were her options and what did she choose? How successful was she in her pursuit of independence? • Jane Eyre: What was Lucy’s vision of independence? What is the evidence of that? What actions does she take to achieve this vision? In addition to addressing these questions with textual evidence, connections will also be made to “the woman question.” How was she defying the traditional roles of Victorian society, and what were her options and what did she choose? How successful was she in her pursuit of independence? • Conclusion: Which one was more successful and why? Works Cited Brontë, Charlotte. Jane Eyre. London: Bloomsbury Books, 1984. —. Villette. London: Penguin Books 1979. CIOLKOWSKI, LAURA E. “CHARLOTTE BRONTË’S ‘VILLETTE’: FORGERIES OF SEX AND SELF.” Studies in the Novel, vol. 26, no. 3, 1994, pp. 218–234. JSTOR, JSTOR, www.jstor.org/stable/20831876. Accessed 201 October 2018. Dutta, Sangeeta. “Charlotte Bronte and the Woman Question.” Economic and Political Weekly, vol. 26, no. 40, 1991, pp. 2311–2316. JSTOR, JSTOR, www.jstor.org/stable/41625509. Accessed 20 October 2018. Hughes-Hallett, Lucy. “The Other Charlotte Bronte Girl.” Daily Telegraph, London, England. 4 January 2014: 14. Business Insights: Global. Web. 22 October 2018. http://bi.galegroup.com.ezproxy.snhu.edu/global/article/GALE%7CA354636360?u=nhc_main&sid=ebsco. Accessed 20 October 2018. Lowes, Melissa. “Charlotte Brontë: A Modern Woman.” Victorian Web, 15 February 2008. http://www.victorianweb.org/authors/bronte/cbronte/lowes1.html. Accessed 20 October 2018. Millhouse, Julia. “The Secret War of Feeling: Julia Millhouse Explores the Struggle for the Self in Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre and Villette.” The English Review, no. 3, 2010, p. 32. Warhol, Robyn R. “Double Gender, Double Genre in Jane Eyre and Villette.” Studies in English Literature, 1500-1900, vol. 36, no. 4, 1996, pp. 857–875. JSTOR, JSTOR, www.jstor.org/stable/450979. Accessed 20 October 2018.