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研究生(外文):Yun-san Chiu
論文名稱(外文):Cultural Politics of Gender in Charlotte Bronte's Jane Eyre
指導教授(外文):May-ying Chen
外文關鍵詞:cultural construction of gendergendered subjectpatriarchysexual oppressionJane Eyre
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第四章主要論述簡愛如何抵抗Rochester 及St. John的誘惑,而不至於成為Rochester的情婦及St. John有名無實的妻子,並闡述簡愛如何尋找到自我,成為自己的主人而非Rochester及St. John的他者。此外,這一章將Bertha詮釋為維多利亞時代性壓迫下一個被壓制的主體;但這並不表示Bertha就毫無權力可言,她透過暴力來展現對父權的反抗。

This thesis attempts to provide an interpretation of Charlotte Bronte’s Jane Eyre in terms of cultural politics of gender by exploring the ways in which Jane Eyre resists being an en-gendered subject as an angel in the house and conforming to the ideal image of womanhood embedded in the network of power relations and discursive practices of the Victorian Age.
In Chapter One, Introduction, I review the critical essays abroad and at home, and point out two reasons for rereading the already much discussed novel. For one thing, whether or not Jane is subversive to the traditional roles of women has been constantly debated and yet far from settled; for the other, there is yet no sound and systematic study on how the gender role is constructed and how Jane resists being an en-gendered subject and empowers herself. In this chapter I introduce the methodology─cultural politics of gender which is a combination of the ideas of such feminist critics Weedon and Jordan and Foucault’s idea of power.
In Chapter Two, I represent the ideal image of womanhood in the early Victorian Age so as to offer a vivid comparison to Jane Eyre. Creating a heroine alienating from the Victorian ideal image of womanhood, Brontë aroused lots of hostile responses when the first edition of Jane Eyre was published in 1847. Brontë and Jane were accused of doing unconventional deeds and subverting social, political and religious institutions. Meanwhile, the contemporary negative reviews manifest that the novel really challenged the Victorian cultural norms and ideal image of womanhood.
In Chapter Three, I illustrate how the three cultural institutions─family, school, and religion, which coincide with Gateshead, Lowood, and the representatives of Christianity in the novel─function to en-gender Jane as an expected gendered subject through discursive practices, discipline and punishment, and how Jane revolts against their power.
In Chapter Four, I mainly focus on Jane’s resistance to the temptation of becoming Rochester’s mistress and St. John’s nominal wife, and on Jane’s quest for her identity as her own mistress. In addition, the mad woman, Bertha, is read as a subjugated subject under the sexual oppression in the Victorian patriarchal society. Under the sexual regulation, Bertha isn’t a powerless woman; instead, she demonstrates her resistance to the patriarchy through violence.
In the last chapter I summarize the main points of the preceding chapters and point out the room for further study. In this thesis, the issues of class and race are overlooked. According to Weedon and Jordan, these three terms, gender, class, and race are all culturally constructed, not natural. They contribute to difference and inequality. Therefore, I suggest that the two issues in Jane Eyre can also be discussed in the light of cultural politics of class and race.
Table of Contents
Chapter one Introduction………………………………………………1
Chapter Two Jane and Brontë’s Transgression of Gender Roles…………25
Chapter Three Three Cultural Institutions:
Constituting Jane as a Gendered Subject……………………45
Chapter Four Jane and Bertha’s Resistance to the Victorian Patriarchy……72

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