Brontë scholars in India and Spain:
Prof. (Dr.) Chetan N. Trivedi and Mr. Rohal S. Raval
Towards Excellence, June, 2021. Vol.13. Issue No. 2
The present article argues that Robert Frost’s poem “For Once, Then, Something” (1923) anticipates, by virtue of its latent similarities to them, the theory of Deconstruction propounded by Jacques Derrida, and Reader-Response Criticism which developed through the work of a number of important theorists, one of them being Stanley Fish. The validity of the interpretation is tested by juxtaposing it, in brief, on Charlotte Brontë’s novel Jane Eyre (1847) and Jean Rhys’ Wide Sargasso Sea (1966), a postcolonial, Feminist re-reading or re-writing of Brontë’s work, especially one of literature’s great enigmatic figure – Bertha Antoinetta Rochester/Mason – and one of the novel’s central character – Edward Fairfax Rochester. Indeed, Bertha had been readily interpreted by many lay readers as an obstacle, if not an outright antagonist, in the union of Jane and Edward before the publication of Rhys’ insightful novel that is a prequel to or provides the backstory of crucial characters and events found in Brontë’s work. Moreover, the researchers also launch an enquiry that seeks to understand whether Rochester has been disproportionately or undeservedly demonized, at least since the publication of Rhys’ novel. This inquiry, which stems from both the insight provided by the reading of Frost’s poem and a position put forward by Fish, (re)reads Brontë’s text to see if it provides any clue, opening, or hint for an alternative response by which Rochester can be rescued from critical opprobrium he is often subjected to, whether before or after the publication of Wide Sargasso Sea.
Ph.D. Universitat Jaume I, València, Spain (June 2021)
Feminism is often studied through a political lens, focusing on the different feminist theories and their influence on society. Nevertheless, literature can also be a way in which feminism is presented and studied. As Felski (2003) argues in her book Beyond Feminist Aesthetics: Feminist Literature and Social Change, feminism and politics, although not often connected in terms of content, they have social change in common. By examining feminist literature, it is possible to observe influential literature works that strive to cause a change in society and its views by criticising the subordination of women of the time. Consequently, this paper aims to highlight revolutionary feminist literary works from early feminist literature up to the 19thcentury. Moreover, it aims to focus on two authors and their most significant works, Mary Wollstonecraft’s A Vindication of the Rights of Woman, and Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre. Studying both authors and works allows for a comparison between the two in terms of feminist traits, female representation, and education. Hence, a connection between a political text and a fictional text will be made, and the similarities of their feminist views will show how two works from different time periods can share common features.