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Spring Symposium on UR and Community Engagement has ended
Tuesday, April 24 • 1:40pm - 2:00pm
Stepping Into The Right Picture: Developing Personal Vision In Charlotte Bronte’s Jane Eyre

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Critics have long noticed Charlotte Bronte’s protagonist, Jane Eyre, for exhibiting a stellar sense of agency as the writer of her own story. The novel uses the realistic genre of autobiography for framing its fiction. By doing this, Bronte invites readers to identify with Jane’s story as a real tale of trial and triumph. Opinions regarding this triumph have centered on Jane’s desire for equality and how she achieves this by modeling others, seeking vocation, creating a personal view of religion, and wielding conversation. Less discussed is the way Jane views her surroundings through the lens of art and books. As both a reader and a visual artist, the themes of sight develop in this character leading to a strong sense of self and an equally strong picture of the world she wants to inhabit. These standards allow her to resist attempts by patriarchal constructs to subjugate her. Rather than use force or manipulation to alter undesirable situations; she leaves them. Like the paintings she renders, Jane forms her own views of spirituality, justice, equality, and morality. With her mind’s eye she learns to recognize the best picture of what is right and steps into these frames. Not only does Jane’s example provide a vision for Victorian women to rise above the constraints of that era, but her example gives all generations a model for creating and adhering to a personal vision.


Tuesday April 24, 2018 1:40pm - 2:00pm
232 Karpen Hall