Was the ending of Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë clever in initiating change without upsetting the public decorum and expectations or was it just another traditional love story?
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Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë is fairly typical of bigamy novels in using the death of the least sympathetic of the wives as a way of resolving the bigamy plot and providing a conventional happy ending. Bigamy plots were a major feature of the sensation novel, and usually the plot trajectory was one that both enabled some romantic thrill of violation of societal norms followed by restoration of the norms. Charlotte Brontë is actually rather more conventional than most bigamy novelists in giving us a fairly pious young protagonist and not challenging ideals of sexuality or marriage. Braddon's Lady Audley and Aurora Floyd are actually far more subversive.
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