Maîtres, maîtresses et maîtrise Jane Eyre
Masters, mistresses and governess ( maîtresses double entendre word ) and mastery
A typically “Victorian” setting and perspective
apart from Pre-Raphaelites + Classical painters who concentrated more on “out of space and time” scenes
and more rarely on photographic aspects of the society of their own times
most of the paintings represent The governess, the Jilted, the Tryst, the Outcast, the Mistress
and mix the categories The fallen mistress
mixture of meanings in the word master( biblical undertones: Lord and Master, John 13:13)
“…for hers was an age of the demure” John Fowles FLW… Are we getting this very picture?
1-The social link functions as a tapestry with set places for the various threads and colours
first meeting between Jane Eyre and Mr Rochester: he remains the master and she the "unknown" lady(woman) he introduces himself from the very start whereas her part is there to help him getting back on his horse Jane has no official place and seems to be the centre of the hubbub going around to make sure that there is no mixing between the categories, each caste is supposed to stay in its own box Ingram Blanche is the next to perfect "item" to Rochester's union (should be) Jane is the perfect governess to Rochester's daughter who is herself a mark of a hidden picture behind the picture Mrs Rochester (the skeleton-in-the-cupboard character, joke may be inappropriate?) stands as a fallen mistress who eventually got mad through her wedding (despite Rochester's genetic definition) (inverted picture) reification of the status of mistresses : marriage precipitated her "fall"
hardships to be endured with a purpose?
2- The painting is more that of an impressionist with tints mingling here and there
than the set and traditional -cum-ideal Victorian painting
Mirror-like links and intertwining of social castes and emotional landscapes
meatphorical aspect of the "fall": a premonition of a borderline relationship tinged with feelings
and lack of on Rochester's part (the horse is out of his own control)
Rochester's Byronic arrival as a hero in need of help is the starting point of the "upper hand"
Jane will eventually get on her " master" and "lord"
the frontier gets blurred = emotions appear
religious thoughts and emotional links are mingled: ecstatic feelings for the lord and master alike
confessions and attempt at transparency of feelings even if it is disguised
3- Is there a beneficiary to this network of relationships? Who acquires the “mastery”?
the mastery is for the narrator-cum-writer who has beguiled us-readers- in thinking mistresses and governesses in terms of frailty
‘Frailty, thy name shall not be woman”… is the Shakespearian counterpart written by Brontë’s quill
totally different painting from the “stereotyped” Victorian photograph of the times
Rochester -matser and lord- is driven by obscure force: the secret, the hidden, the disguise
Officially a master… who eventually is half blind (love blind?) acquires no mastery of anything
broken social facade
mastery rhymes with a demonstration, that of acquiring one’s place (not one given by society)
but a self-made one through events and experiences that give meaning to them
a basic eulogy of freedom
Jane Eyre dans Jane Eyre n’applique-t-elle pas
les propos de Tzvetan Todorov?
“Une conception étriquée de la littérature, qui la coupe du monde dans lequel on vit, s’est imposée dans l’enseignement, dans la critique et même chez nombre d’écrivains. Le lecteur, lui, cherche dans les oeuvres de quoi donner sens à son existence.
Et c’est lui qui a raison.”
La littérature en péril