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Stitching a life, telling a story: sewing in 'Jane Eyre'

Brain, T (2014) 'Stitching a life, telling a story: sewing in 'Jane Eyre'.' Women's Writing, 21 (4). pp. 464-487. ISSN 1747-5848

Abstract

This essay begins by situating Jane Eyre (1847) within contemporary representations of sewing in canonical novels by the Brontë sisters and George Eliot. These texts depict the complex and contradictory nature of needlework. The essay reveals how sewing takes Jane from her girlhood at Lowood School to her deliberate auditioning for the role of Rochester's “lady wife” at Thornfield Hall. It is a journey that is aided and punctuated by Bertha Mason's destructive acts upon fabrics, each of them a coded and crucial message to Jane. The essay's argument is founded upon three linked points: that the pivotal moments in Jane's life and social journey are woven into the story of her stitching; that this story draws upon fairy-tale archetypes; and that Jane's increased skill in manipulating her needle is bound up with her control over her narrative and her theatrical self-presentation.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: P Language and Literature > PR English literature
Divisions: College of Liberal Arts
Date Deposited: 17 Aug 2014 21:18
Last Modified: 29 Apr 2016 13:27
URI: http://researchspace.bathspa.ac.uk/id/eprint/2803
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