Jane Eyre: Close Reading, Image, and Structure
with Isobel Armstrong
Offered in partnership with The Morgan Library & Museum
Honoring English Teachers
Thursday, December 1, 2016

Jane Eyre, Charlotte Brontë’s great first novel, part dream, part realist narrative, has always haunted readers, whether they encountered it as teenagers or as mature readers. We will begin with a close reading of the first chapter before moving on to examine the novel’s imagery and structure as we ask the following questions: What do we make of Jane the orphan? of Rochester the satanic hero? of the mad woman in the attic? of the supernatural elements of the plot? of the colonial and seemingly racist elements of the story?

Isobel Armstrong is professor emeritus at the University of London. She has also taught at Harvard, Johns Hopkins, the Bread Loaf School of English, and is currently teaching at Princeton. Her books include Victorian Poetry: Poetry, Poetics and Politics, The Radical Aesthetic, and Victorian Glassworlds: Glass Culture and the Imagination. She is a fellow of the British Academy and a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.