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The Bronte Sisters How Childhood Affects A Novel.

2934 words - 12 pages

Although Charlotte and Emily Bronte grew up in the same environment, the experiences each took from her childhood and how she adapted them in her brilliant novel differs greatly. Although the style and structure of the two most famous Bronte novels - Charlotte's Jane Eyre and Emily's Wuthering Heights - are similar, the themes, characters, and basic plot are contrasting. While Charlotte's novel focuses on one girl's journey through life and hardship, Wuthering Heights takes a journey through the world of love and hatred by comparing and contrasting three different and intertwining situations. The Bronte sisters bring forth the question of genetic and environmental influences on a person's character. Both girls grew up in the same house, under the same strict rule, and were born of the same parents, yet they are as different as the sun and the moon. The Bronte sisters and their lives are, to say the least, intriguing.The Bronte family lived in Haworth Parsonage in Yorkshire. Their home was surrounded by moors, but was bleak, dead, and isolated. Their environment symbolizes their life as a whole - uninteresting and mild - yet it is that same environment that led Emily and Charlotte to write wonderful poetry and novels mirroring their lives. The family consisted of Maria, Elizabeth, Charlotte, Branwell, Emily Jane, Anne, and others who died as infants. Branwell, the only male child, was an alcoholic and drug addict, and hurt his sisters emotionally. He, along with his father, are represented in Wuthering Heights and Jane Eyre as the powerful, hurtful, and dominant men who try to control the women. The Brontes were an odd and anti-social family, but their need for self-entertainment led to great storytelling, and in turn led to some of the most highly regarded novels to date.Patrick Bronte, a Puritan Reverend, was the head of the Bronte household. He attended Cambridge University and was of Celtic heredity. The Reverend believed in a powerful "man's society," which created an isolated and somber home for his children, therefore leaving them with depressing and desolate lives. Bronte earned a meek income of 200 ₤, which barely supported his ten children. His wife died young from a combination of cancer and exhaustion. She gave birth to six children in seven years, something her sickly body was unable to handle. Because of this, the Bronte children were raised by their father and aunt, Elizabeth Branwell. Branwell, his wife's sister, was no more outwardly loving than Patrick, and was extremely strict with the children. She did not enjoy caring for them, and only did so because her sister had died and left the children with no mother. Just as she was not loving or warm to the Bronte children, they felt no love for her. She taught the girls small lessons and how to be a housewife, but they wished to learn more than sewing and cooking. Emily and Charlotte were especially anxious to leave their home and attend school.Emily Jane Bronte was born in...

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