Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë can be considered a coming-of-age novel. The story follows Jane’s development through a significant period of her youth and early adulthood. Her progress is observed through an intimate first-person narrative at different stages in her life, as she grows from an orphaned child brought up by an unloving family, pursues an education, works as a governess, gains independence, and finds love.
Jane Eyre is also an example of Victorian literature. Victorian literature encompasses works published during the reign of Queen Victoria and usually presents relevant social issues of that time in a realistic way. Though Jane Eyre is not necessarily Victorian in style, but closer to Romanticism, it still presents the gender and social struggles of the early 19th century.
As an example of Romantic literature, Jane Eyre focuses on emotions and the individual experience through its main character and narrator, Jane. The novel also includes elements of gothic fiction, as it features a mysterious atmosphere and includes ideas of supernatural elements.
Wide Sargasso Sea and colonialist attitudes in Jane Eyre
Postcolonialism is a critical approach that focuses on issues related to colonialism and the influence of former colonial powers, like the British Empire. Analyzed under a postcolonial lens, Jane Eyre can be found to present 19thcentury English values as desirable, while demonizing non-European behaviors or considering them inferior or immoral. This is mo...