Jane Eyre as Seen Throughout the Times. A Critical Reception History of Jane Eyre in the 1850s and the 1960s and 70s.
The primary purpose of this study is to determine how the critical reception of Jane Eyre has changed from the date of publishing in 1847 and the early 1850s to the rise of feminist critical theory in the 1960s and 70s, by specifically looking at a reviewer’s character analysis, scene selection, religious stance, writing techniques, and their reception of the author’s sex. In the nineteenth century, critics’ opinions were divided. Some dubbed Jane Eyre a masterpiece, others thought it was anti-Christian literature and anti-authority. In the 1960s and 70s, critics were more likeminded in their opinions. The 1960s brought the arrival of feminist literary criticism in which the feminist perspective was analysed for the first time. The 1970s brought – due to an increase in analysing techniques – a textual analysis of the novel that focussed on women’s inner experience in Victorian society, especially that of the psychological experience.
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