Approaches to Teaching Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre
- Editors: Diane Long Hoeveler, Beth Lau
- Pages: ix & 180 pp.
- Published: 1993
- ISBN: 9780873527064 (Paperback)
"A gap-filler for non-specialists and a stimulus to the knowledgeable. . . . The book is jargon-free. It could also usefully be read by students themselves."
Taught more frequently than any of Charlotte Brontë’s other novels, Jane Eyre presents distinct problems for the contemporary undergraduate instructor, one being the work’s sheer length. Almost all the instructors who responded to a survey conducted for this volume spent two to three weeks teaching the novel in their courses and seminars; their students discovered, in the words of the volume coeditor Diane Long Hoeveler, “as much about themselves, their own memories of childhood, their own struggles for autonomy, as they [did] about the cultural, social, economic, religious, and literary backgrounds that constitute the milieu of the novel.”
Like other books in the MLA’s Approaches to Teaching World Literature series, this one is divided into two parts. The first part, “Materials,” discusses editions, relevant background and critical studies, biographies, bibliographies, and other aids to teaching. In the second part, “Approaches,” twenty contributors discuss Brontë’s background and biography; the influence of Christianity, fairy tales, and Gothic fiction on her work; the themes of the novel and its social and political implications; its film and stage adaptations; relevant artworks (paintings, etchings, and portraits); and various theoretical approaches to teaching the book.