By Terry Eagleton
This ebook units out to interpret the fiction of the Brontë sisters in gentle of a Marxist research of the old stipulations during which it used to be produced. Its target isn't really only to narrate literary proof, yet by means of a detailed serious exam of the novels, to discover in them an important constitution of rules and values which concerning the Brontës' ambiguous state of affairs in the type approach in their society. Its goal is to forge shut kinfolk among the novels, nineteenth-century ideology, and ancient forces, so one can remove darkness from the novels themselves in a considerably new viewpoint. while initially released in 1975 (second variation in 1988), it was once the 1st full-length Marxist research of the Brontës and is now reissued to rejoice 30 years when you consider that its first e-book. It incorporates a new creation via Terry Eagleton that displays the adjustments that experience occurred in Marxist literary feedback when you consider that 1988, and situates this reissue in present debates.
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Additional resources for Myths of Power: A Marxist Study of the Brontës
I am glad you are no relation of mine', Jane cries defiantly to Mrs Reed, and looking at what happens to the Reed family one can see her point. That cloyingly permissive world, cohered in part by the violence it wreaks on the scapegoat alien, leads to dissipation in John, emotional withering in Eliza, witless frivolity in Georgiana and premature death for the harassed mother. The Reed family is a nexus of conflict which Jane is indeed well out of; her later return to Gateshead demonstrates how well she has prospered by independent effort and how little she needs them-how much, in a satisfying inversion of the power-relationship, they now need her.
Since my admiration for Goldmann's work is laced with strong reservations, my use of the concept in this book will be deliberately free, even though, like Goldmann, I shall employ it as an essential mediation between literary text, social consciousness and historical forces. We find embedded in Charlotte's work, for example, a constant struggle between two ambiguous, internally divided sets of values. On the one hand are ranged the values of rationality, coolness, shrewd self-seeking, energetic individualism, radical protest and rebellion; on the other hand lie the habits of piety, submission, culture, tradition, conservatism.
Yet Rochester as Romantic ideal unites Jane's brooding desire for love and security with her eager extraversion to the busy realm of action, the aura of which still glows around her world-weary master. 'Romanticism' in Charlotte's fiction commonly has this dual meaning: it signifies the active, worldly, expansive self, but also the conservative impulse to withdraw protectively into some idealised enclave. If Rochester has the edge over Rivers it is partly because he can meet both demands together; Rivers can satisfy only the first.