Heroines, Hysteria and History: <i>Jane Eyre</i> and her Critics

Cora Kaplan

in Victoriana - Histories, Fictions, Criticism

Published by Edinburgh University Press

Published in print February 2007 | ISBN: 9780748611478
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780748651627 | DOI:
Heroines, Hysteria and History: Jane Eyre and her Critics

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  • Literary Studies (19th Century)


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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

Chapter.  9686 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Literary Studies (19th Century)

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