• Discord in Thornfield Hall: critical postcolonial intersectionality in Jane Eyre

      Ciervo, Emma (2022-05)
      By applying the lenses of postcolonial and trauma theory to the novel, we can begin to develop an understanding of how Jane and Bertha can become critically intersectional characters. Each of these lenses illuminates the clear struggle that each woman faces within a tightly structured Victorian society, and their means of navigating it result in their processing of emotions on a deeper level. I argue that while on the surface it appears that Jane and Bertha are each recognizing the other, they do so only on the most basic level because each only sees it in relation to her own self rather than on a more widespread level. Throughout this thesis, I argue that by exposing the crudeness of this original intersectionality, as well as the privileges gained and lost through the patriarchal structure of Victorian society and empire, Brontë's initial creation of crude intersectional characters can evolve into a deeper level of understanding of one another, or what I am calling critical postcolonial intersectionality.
    • “I Know I Must Conceal My Sentiments”: the repression of female emotions in Dombey and Son by Charles Dickens , North and South by Elizabeth Gaskell, and Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë

      Perles, Dylan Sage (2020-05)
      ​As the 19th century progressed, emotional and sexual repression became integral norms in Victorian society. This norm fell most heavily on middle class British women. Among the cultural indicators that best exemplified this phenomenon were the novels written at the time. In Victorian literature, the heroine was often characterized by her need to repress her own emotions and sexuality. Three such heroines are Jane Eyre from Charlotte ​Brontë’s​ ​Jane Eyre​, Margaret Hale from Elizabeth Gaskell’s ​North and South​, and Florence Dombey from Charles Dickens’ ​Dombey and Son.​ Their behavior reflects societal expectations for young women in Victorian England.
    • Reading the suprasensual in Leo Tolstoy's Anna Karenina: a thesis in eight parts

      Short, Nicole (2022-08)
      Throughout the text of Anna Karenina, there is a means of experience that is suprasensual, repeated moments in the text that seemed to me to deviate from Tolstoy’s apparently slavish devotion to writing objective, observable reality, departing from what can be represented concretely via the five senses. I wrote a small paper arguing that Tolstoy’s novel represented a reality that was shaped and created by human emotion, in a modernist way, and as such, the strength of Anna’s and Levin’s emotion could explain the supernatural bits of reality created around them. This thesis was sound and generally well argued, but in the years that followed the completion of that paper, I couldn’t shake my curiosity about the peasant dream; there was much more to be said, much more to incorporate and to grapple with in terms of that peasant dream, of Kitty and Levin’s wordless communication, of Anna and Levin’s ability to sense sans senses.