Power-play in “Jane Eyre” and “Wide Sargasso Sea”: Confinement and Discipline

  • Priyanjana Das
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  • Priyanjana Das

    Student at University of Edinburg, UK

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Nineteenth century England saw women as creatures vulnerable to mental illness owing to their biological framework. Hysteria, which developed a steady medical interest during that period, was a term that became socially demeaning because it was used to describe women who embraced their sexual freedom, were susceptible to temptation and had ‘fallen’ too far beyond the protection of a society. The Victorian society aspired to build itself the ‘good woman’, enmeshed within its stringent laws and unyielding patriarchal aspirations; and, in doing so, confine the ‘uncontrolled sexual energies’ of the ‘hysterical’ woman in asylums. My close reading analysis and comparative study would explore the narrative and authoritative structures through which power structures attempt to confine, censure and discipline Antoinette Cosway or Bertha Mason in Charlotte Bronte’s canonical text ‘Jane Eyre’ (1847) as well as in Jean Rhys’ counter narrative ‘Wide Sargasso Sea’ (1966).


Research Paper


International Journal of Law Management and Humanities, Volume 6, Issue 5, Page 2020 - 2026

DOI: https://doij.org/10.10000/IJLMH.115983

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