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The Brontë Sisters And Their Work

3193 words - 13 pages

The Brontë Sisters and Their Work


      As the three famous Brontë sisters grew up, they wrote stories even as

      young girls. They developed their characters and plotlines over the years,

      and these three works would later become either their best or only works;

      Charlotte with Jane Eyre, Emily with Wuthering Heights, and Anne with

      Agnes Grey. Focusing on the key works of Charlotte and Anne, readers get a

      glimpse into the writers' opinions of being a governess and perhaps life

      in general.


      Of the three sisters, Emily produced the least amount but was also the

      first to pass away. All three did see some of their poetry published

      before taking to their final resting place, but Emily published only one

      novel. Anne only published two, but the second novel The Tenant of

      Wildfell Hall was a much larger work than her first. Charlotte saw three

      of her novels published, Shirley, Villette, and Jane Eyre, and the fourth,

      The Professor, was released after her death. Charlotte was obviously the

      more productive one, but she lived to be 39, while Anne died at 29 and

      Emily at 30.


      Charlotte and Anne spent a great deal of their adult lives as governesses,

      while Emily tried the profession once for six months. Looking exclusively

      at Agnes Grey and Jane Eyre then, one can see that the writers used much

      of their own lives and experiences in their works. The protagonists of

      both books become governesses at a young age (Charlotte and Anne took

      their first positions both at 19), and if Jane and Agnes had never gone

      out on their own to pursue this personal independence, their stories would

      have ended quite differently. Jane would probably have died an old

      spinster at Lowood, and Agnes would have been so sheltered as an adult in

      her parents' house that she would never want leave, becoming a somewhat

      less eccentric Miss Havisham.


      The protagonists have similar parentage. Jane and Agnes' fathers were

      clergyman, as was the Brontës' father. Both mothers married their fathers

      in spite of what their families said, and both women were disowned, given

      no dowry and cut off from any fortune. As a result, both families started

      off at a certain high point of poverty.

      The protagonists grew up in quite different ways, however. Charlotte opted

      for the more dramatic history of her character and Jane's parents died in

      her infancy, which was a common plotline in novels at the time for the

      protagonists to be orphaned and alone in the world. Jane was raised by

      family, although Mrs. Reed was only family by marriage. The house was a


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