By P. Menon
This lucid and tightly-argued learn makes use of the motif of the mentor-lover - embodying different variations of sexual love, energy and judgement - to discover, review and evaluate the works of Jane Austen, Charlotte Brontë and George Eliot as they cope with problems with sexuality, family members, selfhood, freedom, behavior and gender. The determine additionally offers a method to probe their dating to the reader as they develop into mentor-lovers via authorship, each one eliciting a distinct type of love and electing a unique sort of guide.
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Extra info for Austen, Eliot, Charlotte Bronte & The Mentor-Lover
But even the writings of authors (and critics) determined not to preach cannot help but fall somewhere in a range from covert persuasion to the unintended transmission of values, however muddied these matters might be by ambivalence, confusion and misunderstanding, and however difficult it is to recover these values from the texts in their totality. 2 Of Sense and Sensibility the British Critic thought, “Our female friends . . may learn from [these volumes], if they please, many sober and salutary maxims for the conduct of life” (40).
In the case of important matters such as marriage, she knows as well as he does what is entailed, although she feels no need and has little ability to frame her awareness in witty comparisons to the dance. Austen is clearly no more bent on serious instruction of a specific nature than is Henry or the narrative voice. That the Austen of Northanger Abbey enjoys an audience is clear. Like Henry Tilney, it is a pleasure for her to display her wit and powers of invention, while her attitude often closely resembles his teasing “you women” approach, differing only in that it takes the form of “you readers”, intended not to distance but to invoke complicity.
There is the stamp of reality in his inconvenient but irresistible urge to reveal his interest to his friends, even to Miss Bingley, whose resentment will inevitably lead to vulgar teasing. But most striking is the fact that it is Elizabeth’s personality that arouses his sexual interest and redefines his response to her physical appearance. His often-repeated attraction to her physical charms is inextricable from his fascination with her playfulness, wit and intelligence, a response significantly unlike Mr Bennet’s one-dimensional physical attraction to the woman he married.
Austen, Eliot, Charlotte Bronte & The Mentor-Lover by P. Menon