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Commonplace Book

Commonplace Book

Image taken from BBC Hulton Picture Library

“He lifted up the sable waves of hair which lay horizontally over his brow, and showed a solid enough mass of intellectual organs; but an abrupt deficiency where the suave sign of benevolence should have risen” (Brontë 203)

Jane makes numerous references to phrenology, such as in the example above. Phrenology studies bumps and indentations of the skull in order to draw conclusions about one’s character and capacity for particular skills. The above image depicts a phrenology chart, showing the regions of each quality.

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Commonplace Book

Commonplace Book

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Commonplace Book

Commonplace Book

Above images are of various restraints commonly used in Victorian mental asylums

Pictures taken from “A Victorian Mental Asylum” published by Science Museum https://www.sciencemuseum.org.uk/objects-and-stories/victorian-mental-asylum

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Commonplace Book

Commonplace Book

“By foregrounding the tensions in the framing structure of freak shows, Brontë reveals her interest in the dynamics of identification and differences surrounding Victorian freak bodies, and in how the meaning of ‘freakishness,’ as Robert Bogdan argues, depends heavily on the strategies of presentation; it is ‘something we created: a perspective, a set of practices a social construction’ of ‘freakishness'” ~ Chih-Ping Chen

CHEN, CHIH-PING. “‘AM I A MONSTER?”: ‘JANE EYRE’ AMONG THE SHADOWS OF FREAKS.” Studies in the Novel, vol. 34, no. 4, 2002, pp. 367–384. JSTOR, www.jstor.org/stable/29533530. Accessed 10 Feb. 2020.

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QCQ

QCQ #2

“Probably, if I had lately left a good home and kind parents, this would have been the hour when I should most keenly have regretted the separation: that wind would then have saddened my heart; this obscure chaos would have disturbed my peace: as it was I derived from both a strange excitement, and reckless and feverish, I wished the wind to howl more wildly, the gloom to deepen to darkness, and the confusion to rise to clamour” (Brontë 116)

            Throughout the story, we see Jane Eyre indulge in numerous internal discussions, such as the discussion in the above quote. In this particular instance, Jane is reflecting on how some of the other students may be feeling during the frightful storm and she uses this reflection to juxtapose her own wild feelings. It is important to note that the narrator of the story, however, is a much older Jane Eyre, who is reflecting back on her youth and giving an autobiographical account. This narrating Jane is more experienced, developed, and possesses the ability to look in hindsight at her life. With this in mind, I now have a couple questions. Are Jane’s internal discussions a reflection of her thoughts at the time or are they a mechanism for narrating Jane to offer her own reflections regarding those points in her past? Since the story is told from the adult Jane perspective, how does this impact the credibility and reliability of the information provided to us, the readers?

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Commonplace Book

Commonplace Book