Jane Eyre – storie di donne e della loro emancipazione

Jane Eyre was first published as Jane Eyre: An Autobiography. It is the story of a poor orphan; Jane Eyre, who, after spending many years at the inhuman boarding school (= collegio) of Lowood, at the age of eighteen, secures a position (= si trova un lavoro) as governess in Thornfield Hall. There Jane is the teacher of Adèle, a young French ward (= ragazza sotto tutela) of the absent Mr. Rochester. When Edward Rochester arrives, the two become friends, even if strange events disturb their relationship. Eventually (= alla fine) , Rochester asks her to marry him and Jane accepts his proposal. But, on the wedding morning (= il giorno del matrimonio), a Jamaican man, a Mr. Richard Mason, interrupts the ceremony and reveals that Mr. Rochester is still married to his sister Bertha, a Creole who, in reality, is a violent lunatic kept in a secret room. Disillusioned (= delusa) , Jane leaves Thornfield, but one day she hears Mr. Rochester’s anguished voice calling to her supernaturally and she returns to Thornfield. Now she is rich because her uncle has left her a fortune, while Mr Rochester’s place has been burnt and he is blind and without a hand. But they are reunited.
The sources for this novel are mainly autobiographical. Lowood, the harsh (= severa) boarding school and Helen Burns’s death from consumption(= tubercolosi)  recalls the deaths of Charlotte Brontë’s sisters Maria and Elizabeth, who died of tuberculosis in childhood as a result of the conditions at their school, the Clergy Daughters School at Cowan Bridge, near Tunstall in Lancashire. Mr. Brocklehurst is based on Rev. William Carus Wilson (1791-1859), the Evangelical minister who ran (= dirigeva) the school. John Reed’s decline into alcoholism and dissolution recalls (= ricorda) the life of Charlotte’s brother Branwell, who became a laudanum and alcohol addict in the years preceding his death. Like Charlotte, Jane becomes a governess.The Gothic manor of Thornfield is inspired by North Lees Hall, near Hathersage in the Peak District which Charlotte Brontë and her friend Ellen Nussey visited in the summer of 1845 (Ellen Nussey described it in a letter dated 22 July 1845). It was the residence of the Eyre family and its first owner Agnes Ashurst was confined (= fu confinata)as a lunatic (= pazza) in a second floor room.
As to the literary source, Jane Eyre can be read as an example of Gothic fiction: Thornfield Hall; Mr Rochester; Bertha the Madwoman in the Attic, a sort of vampire (“She sucked the blood: she said she’d drain my heart”, chapter 20) are all elements that belong to the gothic genre in fahion at that time (and nowadays too).
The real novelty is the figure of the protagonist and the description of the difficult situation of women in general and their relationship with men. Jane is a woman who tries to improve (= migliorare) her social position by working as a teacher and not by marrying a man of fortune.