Charlotte Bronte's "Jane Eyre" (Critical Studies of Key Texts)

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9780745008998: Charlotte Bronte's
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This work provides a new feminist reading of Charlotte Bronte's classic text, "Jane Eyre". While acknowledging the force of earlier "heroic" readings which saw the novel as an epic of female self-discovery, Nestor draws on recent developments in critical theory to uncover more disturbing elements which undermine the notion of a novel of progress and reveal ways in which the text can be seen as profoundly regressive; a fantasy of completeness and power which may be understood in terms of a retreat to the psychoanalytic imaginary. This study examines three major concerns of feminist analysis - motherhood, sexuality and identity - and explores the novel's deep ambivalence in each area. Throughout, Pauline Nestor sets up a dialogue between "first" and "second" wave feminist readings as a way of offering a more inclusive reading; one strengthened by its engagement with the more disconcerting aspects of the text. Nestor demonstrates clearly how new critical theories can offer illuminating perspectives on canonical texts.

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