1st Edition

Reflecting on Jane Eyre

By Pat Macpherson Copyright 1989
    136 Pages
    by Routledge

    Jane Eyre is a feminist Pilgrim’s Progress in which the heroine asserts the moral equality and responsibility of men and women—an outrageous claim for a female, and moreover a governess, to make. Pat Macpherson reads in Jane Eyre the dramatic dynamic of adolescence itself, as a Gothic landscape of battles and pacts, seductions and betrayals, transgressions and policings, where identity is forged in relation to social norms of class, gender, race, generation, and nationality. Her exuberant narration connects the personal to the political in Jane’s relations with Rochester, the rake in need of reformation, Bertha, his mad wife, and St John, the parson whose cross is paternalism.

    Pat Macpherson’s Reflecting on Jane Eyre (first published in 1989) shows how the novel itself can be the territory for women’s exploration of a morality of desire and power, alternative to the material and sexual double-standard of middle-class men. This book will be of interest to students and researchers of English literature, feminist studies, and sociology.

    Introduction   1. Portrait of a Governess, Disconnected, Poor, and Plain  2. Wild Nights  3. Heavenly Father  4. From Bad Girl to Good Woman


    Pat Macpherson taught English at Germantown Friends School in Philadelphia for 13 years and received her MA in Women’s Studies from the University of Kent at Canterbury.