The Men in Eyre’s Lives: A Study of Testosterone and Effeminacy.

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Ever since its publication in 1847, Brontë’s Jane Eyre has been one of the most popular novels that was produced during the Victorian era. This popularity was keenly felt ever since its life was started but more importantly demonstrated by its afterlives: adaptations. As within the Victorian era, Jane Eyre has always been linked to gender studies. Most of these studies have always been linked to women’s studies, for Brontë was perceived as one of the mothers of feminism. However, these studies neglect the discussion of the manifestation of masculinities within the novel. This field of studies however, is of particular interest because the transition of the romantic period into the Victorian period marked a split into two polar opposite masculine ideals: the English gentleman and the new gentleman. This split, or the combining of these two masculinities were the cause for a lot of confusion and conflicting idea! s in tryi ng to adhere to one of these ideals. This thesis tries to uncover how these two differing ideas manifest themselves within the male characters of Jane Eyre. As a result, this thesis will find out what Brontë believes to be the ideal man. Once these determinations have been made, this thesis will try to unveil how these different images of masculinity translate themselves to the 1983 television adaptation of Jane Eyre. By first examining changes in masculine identity during the 80s, this study will uncover how these changes play a role in both the choices the adapter makes in adapting the novel and how the show might be received by an audience. Finally, by using adaptation theory this study will try to uncover in what way or form Brontë’s ideal man is still present within the 1983 adaptation. Key Words Brönte, manliness, masculinity, adaptation, Jane Eyre, Rochester, Brocklehurst, Reed, Rivers, auteur, Victorian, domesticity, fidelity, 1847, 1983
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