Date of Award
Eleanor McNees, Ph.D.
Brontë, Genre, Nostalgia, Pastoral, Shirley, Unity
This thesis seeks to address questions of unity within Charlotte Brontë's Shirley. From the time of its publication, Shirley has been criticized for major characters and themes that do little to contribute to the work as a unified whole. Critics focused on the caricatured portrayal of religious figures, the ongoing industrial conflict, and the reconciliation of one of the novel's heroines to her mother as justification for the novel's lack of unity. In this thesis I hope to reconcile these criticisms and propose a unifying framework in which the characters and themes in question act as necessary components. Through an examination of Shirley as a pastoral novel, I will show how these elements contribute to Charlotte Brontë's commentary on the shifting landscape of 19th Century Yorkshire. I will also demonstrate how Brontë's pastoral in Shirley examines and comments on important social issues of 19th Century England.
Lewis, Joel Tyre, "Pastoral Unity: Constructions of Nostalgic Retreat Space in Charlotte Brontë's Shirley" (2015). Electronic Theses and Dissertations. 1059.
Received from ProQuest
Joel Tyre Lewis
English Literature, Literature