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Victoriana - Histories, Fictions, Criticism$
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Cora Kaplan

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780748611478

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9780748611478.001.0001

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Heroines, Hysteria and History: Jane Eyre and her Critics

Heroines, Hysteria and History: Jane Eyre and her Critics

(p.15) Chapter 1 Heroines, Hysteria and History: Jane Eyre and her Critics
Victoriana - Histories, Fictions, Criticism

Cora Kaplan

Edinburgh University Press

This chapter discusses the different criticisms of Charlotte Brontë's Jane Eyre. It uses Sigmund Freud's evocative analogy as a tool to explore the charged emotions that accompany the critical responses to the novel. The chapter then challenges some of the terms of the debate on Jane Eyre's ethical status for feminism, and also argues that criticism has an emotive history that can be best understood by stating the cultural sites from which the critic speaks. Finally, it investigates the heightened emotions that Jane Eyre has aroused in twentieth-century literary criticism.

Keywords:   Jane Eyre, criticisms, evocative analogy, ethical status, feminism, emotive history, cultural sites, literary criticism

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