2). Despite her early suffering, as the novel progresses Jane is cared for and surrounded by various women who act as a sort of "substitute mother" in the way they guide, comfort, and inspire her. By looking into Charlotte Bronte’s own childhood and family background, as well as discovering aspects of Victorian motherhood in the mid-nineteenth century, one may be enlightened as to why so many substitute mothers are present to Jane throughout the novel. The substitute mothers, although a starting point for Jane’s emotional redemption, do not prove to fulfill what a mother in the Mid-Victorian era would be. Charlotte Bronte’s own mother died when she was only five years old, so she and her sisters were raised by her father, Patrick.
Specifically, I would like to look at Sense and Sensibility, which, according to Ros Ballaster's introduction to the novel, "is full of, indeed over-crowded with, mothers" (vii). By discussing the maternal figures in this work, I hope to illustrate the varying possibilities of what mothering and motherhood can entail in Austen, and what this curious spectrum of strengths and weaknesses means for the heroine involved. When discussing the mothers in Sense and Sensibility, it is only logical to begin with Mrs. Dashwood, Elinor and Marianne's mother. We meet her just a few pages into the novel, and are immediately told of her genuine and unassuming interest in Elinor's relationship with Edward Ferrars. Unlike most of Austen's mothers, Mrs. Dashwood is neither calculating nor preoccupied with a particular agenda for her daughters: "Some mothers might have encouraged intimacy from motives of interest...and some might have repressed it from motives of prudence...but Mrs. Dashwood was alike uninfluenced by either consideration.
The Invisible Presence: Virginia Woolf and the Mother-Daughter Relationship. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State UP, 1986. Schwartz, Beth C. "Thinking back Through our Mothers: Virginia Woolf Reads Shakespeare." SLA 58 (1991): 721-46. Simpson, Catharine R. Introduction.
New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1981. -------. To the Lighthouse. New York: Harcourt Brace & Company, 1981. -------.
Print. Oppenheimer, Judy. "Chapter 22." Private Demons: The Life of Shirley Jackson. New York: Fawcett Columbine, 1988.
Woolf bases her thoughts on "the question of women and fiction". In the essay, Woolf asks herself the question if a woman could create art that compares to the quality of Shakespeare. Therefore, she examines women's historical experience and the struggle of the woman artist. A Room of One's Own explores the history of women in literature through an investigation of the social and material conditions required for writing. Leisure time, privacy, and financial independence, are important to understanding the situation of women in the literary tradition because women, historically, have been deprived of those basics (Roseman 14).
Ed. Carol Bode. New York: Penguin Books, 1981. 3. Van Doren, Mark .
What could be said to early American women's writers except, thank you? The first American women's writers opened doors and laid the foundation for future women's writers and readers. Today's women raise children, supervise households, and work outside the home with every modern convenience available, and as you would expect do not find the time to write, except for a grocery list. Early American women raised children and supervised households without the modern conveniences of today and in some way made time to write the first poetry of the "New World." For example, Everette Emerson gives a picture of Anne Bradstreet a housewife who stole hours from sleep for writing gave women American writers their start (4).
“Women’s Voices.” The Cambridge Companion to British Literature of the French Revolution in the 1790s. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 2011.Print. Wellington, Jan. "Blurring the Borders of Nation and Gender: Mary Wollstonecraft's Character (R)evolution." Rebellious Hearts: British Women Writers and the French Revolution. Albany: State University of New York, 2001.