To Know One Country Is to Know No Country : An Ecocritical Reading of Setting in Jane Eyre
The essay explores a new way of interpreting the role of setting in Jane Eyre arguing that nature does not only provide a pretty backdrop for the story. The theoretical approach used in the study is ecocriticism, an earth-centered method. This approach is juxtaposed with a traditional linear analysis of setting in Jane Eyre. The essay is structured along two main lines. In the first part I challenge the traditional linear approach to setting and in the second I show that Jane Eyre is intertwined with nature from the very start. Lawrence Buell’s theory of place, in particular, is used to demonstrate that Eyre is not necessarily a lost soul. By contrast, the many descriptions of nature in the novel imply that her character is so entwined with setting that she could be at home wherever life may take her.
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