Essay Question: “The literary canon is more a creation of political than artistic judgment” Discuss.
This essay will be looking at the primary text of Jane Eyre, which will be backed up by several secondary sources. I will be arguing and identifying in this essay that the literary canon is more political than artistic judgment, therefore agreeing with the statement. Before beginning the essay it is important to define exactly what the definition of canon is to outline the different objectives between political and artistic judgment. Quote:
Canon-“…a general law, rule, principle, or criterion by which something is judged…” (http://oxforddictionaries.com/search?searchType=dictionary&isWritersAndEditors=true&searchUri=All&q=canon&_searchBtn=Search&contentVersion=WORLD) ‘We have ideas about canons because we learn to think about literature within cultural frameworks that are in part constituted by notions of the canonical.’ (Charles Altieri, 41)
It is important to establish why Jane Eyre is an appropriate primary text for this essay. Jane Eyre, being in the canon can indicate both sides of the argument through they way the artistic text is written, to the critical views of others about Jane Eyre, the canon could either represent an artistic or political view. Political debate:
1) Marxist perspective; The primary text itself reveals the political views of social class at the time, which could indicate because of some political views why Jane Eyre is in the canon; “Poverty looks grim to grown people, still more so to children” Charlotte Bronte, Jane Eyre (Oxford: Oxford World’s Classics, 1998) There are many references to religion in Jane Eyre, however modern viewers tend to analyse from a Marxist/feminist perspective. 2) Marxist perspective; the governess- the role of governess reveals the ideological idea of middle working class women at this time. Bronte adheres to the conventions of the governess through the character...