Discuss Charlotte Bronte as a novelist.Discuss Charlotte Bronte as a novelist.

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pmiranda2857 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Charlotte Bronte was "a highly passionate woman whose imaginative fantasies always focused on romantic love  especially in her novel Jane Eyre. She used personal experiences to create works of art. The character Jane Eyre and Charlotte Bronte both suffered a harsh family life, traumatic emotional events, and a search for their own identity. Bronte used the novel to express her life and feelings in a way that she knew how.

Brontë brought to English fiction an intensely personal voice. Her books show the moral and emotional growth of a protagonist almost entirely by self-revelation. 

Because the novels are so clearly wrought from the materials of their author’s life, psychoanalytic and feminist criticism has proved rewarding. In Brontë’s work, a woman author makes significant statements about issues central to women’s lives.

Most of her heroines are working women; each feels the pull of individual self-development against the wish for emotional fulfillment, the tension between sexual energies and social realities, the almost unresolvable conflict between love and independence.

accessteacher eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I have to disagree with mjush in her assessment of Charlotte Bronte. I do agree that Jane Austen is a very different novelist, but her main focus was on society, its workings, irony and humour in her novels, which are commedy of manners. Bronte was all about something completely different - sharing the internal thoughts and development of psychologically complex female characters as they struggle to make sense of their position in the world and as they go through various challenges and trials. Worlds apart from the diningrooms, balls and polite banter of Austen. I won't specify a preference, but I think Charlotte Bronte has well and truly earned her place in the literary canon just as much as Austen has, but in a very different way.

mjush eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I like Charlotte Bronte as a writer but wish she had developed a bit further. I felt like her stories are often a bit too contrived. I think Jane Austen would be a stronger representation of a top female writer during this time period. She had more insight into the overall human nature.

brides919 | Student

Does pmiranda2857 suggest that Charlotte Bronte's novel Jane Eyre was a mere recount of her own life, in which she draws parallels from events after the fact like a simple storyteller, or much the same as other authors such as Sylvia Plath and her novel The Bell Jar. You cannot possibly condemn such literary achievement, such calculated genius, such obvious imagination to the ranks of a recount of one life, merely re written craftily. I am sure, as is the case with all novels, that Charlotte did draw some of her ingenius from life experiences, although distantly. Charlotte Bronte is and will remain an author of unbelivable and staggering literary worth whose views of the world challenge the very ideals and societal norms of her time that make what she does, such an inspirational achievment. not only did she write a novel that would be turned into movies etc many times over, but we seem to forget that the ideals that she challenged at the time, her time, were the social law, not etiquette, but law. She is an author who was much more, who challenged ideals that few others, with the exception of maybe Jane Austen, dared to challenge. As women, surely this can not be the mere work of a life of experience, but of a heart so deeply evoked with emotion and a mind so full of imagination that Charlotte felt that it would be a crime against humanity  not allow it to overflow onto the pages and mould into the masterpeice that is Jane Eyre.

kierang | Student

Charlotte Bronte and her sisters were responsible for setting the very high standards of female English writers of the 19th century. Charlotte, in particular, was a very talented writer who was able to explore and express the inner thoughts of a woman struggling with a passion for life. Her main work Jane Eyre is still as regarded as one of the greatest love stories ever told.