“The Seductive Reduction” of India: Colonial, Missionary, and Educative Pursuits in Jane Eyre

UNCA Author/Contributor (non-UNCA co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Ashley Megan Peltack (Creator)
University of North Carolina Asheville (UNCA )
Web Site: http://library.unca.edu/
Lorena Russell

Abstract: This paper examines the colonial and imperial presence in Charlotte Bronte’s nineteenth-century bildungsroman Jane Eyre. Although the novel is almost entirely situated in the domestic space of England, it uses British imperial practices in India to represent and interpret legal, economic, and gendered hegemony in its native country. In particular, St. John’s proposal of and Jane’s willingness to perform educative work in India draws attention to Britain’s colonial project in the region, the primary methods of British colonization and its impacts in nineteenth-century India, as well as the problematic overlaps between Christian theology and colonialist policy. In dramatizing Jane’s choice to stay in England and St. John’s to go to India, Jane Eyre demonstrates its concern with the inconsistencies of religious discourse and practice in its relation to imperialist projects of various kinds.

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 2017
Jane Eyre, Charlotte Bronte, colonial policy, India

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