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Passion and Reason in Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre and Irigarayan Feminine Divine

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This paper examines Charlotte Brontë’s masterpiece Jane Eyre (1848) through Irigaray’s notion of feminine divine in order to argue how Charlotte Brontë’s main characters achieve their autonomous gendered identity by expressing their erotic desire. It discusses the resistance of Charlotte Brontë’s female protagonist, Jane Eyre, to the dichotomies of active subject/passive object, self/other, body/mind, passion/intellect, and the domination/submission through her ethical and intersubjective relationship with Rochester, her counterpart, rather than being an object of his desire. It is argued how Jane challenges these dualities of patriarchal society and the logic of the same by expressing her erotic nature. Where the patriarchal society tries to confine women in the patriarchal culture, Brontë develops Jane within and against those confines and allows her to experience her female desire by exploring the internal and external nature. Jane’s liberation from the dualities can be read through the lens of Irigaray’s feminine divine which focuses on women’s autonomous gendered identity and creates a balance between their passion and reason. Charlotte Brontë indicates how women are able to achieve individuality, social standing, and subjective identity by expressing their female desire.


International Letters of Social and Humanistic Sciences (Volume 89)
S. Hemmati, "Passion and Reason in Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre and Irigarayan Feminine Divine", International Letters of Social and Humanistic Sciences, Vol. 89, pp. 25-32, 2020
Online since:
December 2020

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