Charlotte Bronte's Jane Eyre: A secular reading of the "Pilgrim's Progress"

Olvey, Lauren Anne (1996) Charlotte Bronte's Jane Eyre: A secular reading of the "Pilgrim's Progress". MPhil(R) thesis, University of Glasgow.

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Charlotte Bronte uses John Bunyan's allegory The Pilgrim's Progress as a source for the trials and tribulations of her heroine in her novel in Jane Eyre. The purpose of this thesis is to explore Bunyan's religious and literary influence on Bronte's Jane Eyre amid the religious changes of the nineteenth century. Bronte redefines the pilgrimage of the 'self' using a language that makes profound use of Bunyan's Biblical and Puritan theology. In order to do justice to both writers the comparison will build on Bunyan's Puritan upbringing and continue with Bronte's life in the Victorian Age. Nineteenth century influences include the 'philosophy' of Thomas Carlyle's Sartor Resartus and the theme of 'natural supernaturalism' through the 'secular' pilgrimage in Jane Eyre. Bronte's own experience is the basis for the novel; thus, knowing her life in the Victorian Age is suggestive of Jane's experience in the novel. Bronte uses the heroine Jane as a romantic example; an example to invoke questions about the 'self in her search for meaning amid the social, religious, and spiritual changes in the nineteenth century. Bunyan's religious allegory is revisited in the 'secular' context of Bronte's novel, ie. will and passion symbolize human desires in Bronte's Jane Eyre as opposed to their sacred reference in Bunyan's allegory. The young Jane Eyre is forced to mature quickly, overcoming the challenges of the world and yet, never forgetting her moral duty to God, but above all, her obligation to her 'self'.

Item Type: Thesis (MPhil(R))
Qualification Level: Masters
Keywords: English literature.
Colleges/Schools: College of Arts
Supervisor's Name: Jasper, Dr. David
Date of Award: 1996
Depositing User: Enlighten Team
Unique ID: glathesis:1996-71715
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 17 May 2019 09:31
Last Modified: 08 Aug 2022 14:55
Thesis DOI: 10.5525/gla.thesis.71715

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