Charlotte Bronte

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Charlotte Bronte was born on April 21, 1816 at Thornton in the West Riding of Yorkshire. Charlotte was the oldest daughter of six kids in the Bronte household. She helped raise her brother, Branwell, and her two sisters, Emily and Anne. As Charlotte and her sisters grew up they started to grow a very vivid and creative imagination. They would play in made up kingdoms and would write stories and poems based on their childhood adventures. These writings that she developed with her sisters were the start of her love and passion for writing.

In Jane Eyre, Charlotte describes her life at home as she was working and raising her two sisters. Charlotte disliked her job and decided to leave in order to study French in Belgium. In Belgium, she met Constantin Heger who helped her by giving a strong literary background and develop her writing. She grew to a strong liking to him, but he was married so their relationship was ill-fated (Charlotte 1). After studying at Belgium and returning home, Charlotte discovered that her Emily and Anne also loved to write. Together they wrote their first book of poetry Poems by Currer, Ellis, and Acton Bell. The three girls used male author names so that they would be treated fairly and not be criticized for being women. Even then, their book only sold two copies and didn’t get great reviews.

Charlotte kept writing and wrote The Professor and Jane Eyre. “Jane Eyre depicts the development, in Charlotte Bronte’s words, of a ‘heroine as plain and simple as myself’” (Felder 149). Jane Eyre was an autobiographical story that became Charlotte’s most popular novel. It received a great amount of attention and caused much controversy as well. After writing Jane Eyre, Charlotte wrote two more books Shirley: A Tale and Villette with a male author name. Critics have reviewed her books and have had some different opinions. Some critics enjoyed and admired her books, while others hated and criticized them. However, most critics praise Charlotte Bronte on her writing style, even if they don’t like her books. The book that received the most reviews, positive and negative, was Jane Eyre. Not everyone liked the autobiographical aspect of the book and many thought it was an unrealistic story.

In December of 1852 Charlotte Bronte was asked for her hand in marriage by Arthur Bell Nicholls. With the persistence of Arthur and her father encouraging her, she decided to accept the proposal and they got married in June of 1854. “With her marriage to Arthur Bell Nicholls on 29 June 1854, Charlotte Bronte's literary activity came to an end” (Rosengarten 1). In January 1855 Charlotte found out she was pregnant. Sadly, the pregnancy was very rough on her and made her very ill, leading to her death in March of 1855.

Charlotte remained one of the most-read and admired writers of the nineteenth century (Felder 149). Her life and literary career became an inspiration to many female writers, and her characters are some of the best female heroines in literature.

Jane Eyre is the type of character that can influence and inspire many people. Jane, while described very plain and simple, is a beautiful person from the passion and strength she possesses. Jane’s powerful character shows when she is brought down and oppressed in different parts throughout the book. Mrs. Sarah Reed and her son are the first people in her life who abuse and mistreat Jane. Then at school Mr. Brocklehurst makes an untrue statement about Jane in front of everyone. However, Jane is firm and strong and doesn’t let these instances bring her down. She’s a strong, independent, feminine character who is able to endure great obstacles in her life. At Lowood, the school she attended, the conditions are very rough and rugged. Jane has a hard time adapting and is humiliated and ashamed of herself. Her friend Helen Burns tries to tell her not to be so emotional and sensitive. However, as the novel progresses you see that Jane’s emotion are what...
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