Representations of Charitable Relationships in Jane Eyre and Middlemarch 公开

Cawkwell, Rachel Elizabeth (2014)

Permanent URL: https://etd.library.emory.edu/concern/etds/bk128b46z?locale=zh
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Abstract

In nineteenth century England, private charity practices shifted from sporadic, individual and parish-based actions to regimented and collective organized events. Public discussion about the most effective manner of bestowing charity not only inspired these changes but accompanied their trial period prior to England's transition to a welfare state. Victorian realist novels participated in this debate via the manner in which they portrayed charitable relationships. Charlotte Bronte's Jane Eyre and George Eliot's Middlemarch depict philanthropy within distinct frameworks, representing different ideologies about interpersonal relationships: where Jane Eyre values the potential for reciprocity in direct relationships, Middlemarch embraces the reality of a network-oriented society. Published twenty-four years apart, the novels not only reflect the changing charitable discourse through their differences, but they also comment on the effectiveness of popular ideas. Analyzing each type of charity in the novels reveals the extent to which the relationship models shape the readers' perceptions of characters' philanthropic actions. Both books demonstrate the potential for literature to enrich and alter public conception, as well as provide insight into charitable practices relevant to the modern era.

Table of Contents

Introduction...................................................................1

1. Jane Eyre: Reciprocity in Direct Relationships. ...............16

Caretakers and Benefactors................................................21

Professional Charity: Educators...........................................32

Professional Charity: Home Visitors.......................................37

Professional Charity: Missionaries.........................................43

Wills and Inheritance.........................................................49

2. Middlemarch: Surprises in the System..........................52

Caretakers and Benefactors...............................................58

Home Visitors..................................................................63

The Female Charitable "Professional"....................................65

Professional Charity: Physicians..........................................71

Professional Charity: Politicians..........................................76

Professional Charity: Religious Men.....................................78

Wills and Inheritance........................................................81

Conclusion...................................................................85

Works Cited.................................................................89

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