Representation of the Other in Charlotte Bronte's Jane Eyre

4477 words 18 pages
Representation of the ‘Other’ in Charlotte Bronte's Jane Eyre


This study aims at examining the representation of the’ other’ as portrayed in Charlotte Bronte's Jane Eyre (1847). It attempts to inspect how the ‘Other’ is viewed in Nineteenth century England and the cultural ideology behind such specific representation. It poses crucial questions as to why the ‘Other’ is always represented negatively in main-stream western narrative as in the case of Bertha Mason who is portrayed as a madwoman and a voiceless monster that deserves a ten-year- rigorous confinement in the Attic. I will attempt to focus on the cultural and historical context of ‘Jane Eyre’ and its impact on the representation of the’ Other’. I will also draw on
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Representation of so-called “Third World Women” in a negative light is pervasive in Western dominant discourse. Many Western political and discursive representations of Third World Women are problematic because they present these women (Bertha Mason) as homogenized group very different from the women of the West(Jane Eyre)-‘The First World Women'. These representations take many forms in the West, from being hot sexually to submissive and willing slaves.

It is worth mentioning that in society, cultural practices such as publishing companies, television and press are important dimensions of the social, political, and economic organizations. ‘It shouldn’t be possible to read nineteenth-century British literature without remembering that imperialism, understood as England’s social mission, was a crucial part of the cultural representation of England to the English.’(Lewis and Mills,2003:306). These cultural practices represent society's dominant ideologies which become a standard upon which other forms of social relations and productions are interpreted and judged. For Edward Said, the question is not to represent cultures but how to represent other cultures. ‘Other' the key word, evoking not only the extremely complex category of alterity but the position from which this word’ Other 'is uttered. (Said,1978). Here, I find that Said tries to find an answer for such important question which is how we can


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