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Moors, Mansions, and Museums

Transgressing Gendered Spaces in Novels of the Brontë Sisters


Zuzanna Jakubowski

The works of Anne, Emily, and Charlotte Brontë are saturated with spatial metaphors, their composition inevitably reflecting Victorian concepts of gender and the ideology of ‘separate spheres’. Questioning the binary interpretation of incarceration and flight, this study focuses on how, through a transgression of narrated, textual, and metaphorical spaces, the Brontës’ feminine protagonists show the ideological divide between male and female spaces to be more permeable than previously acknowledged. Applying the spatial concepts of Michel Foucault, Gilles Deleuze, and Félix Guattari, this study examines how the normative dichotomy of the ‘separate spheres’ in the selected novels is destabilized through a transgression of literary spaces.
Contents: Space as a Concept of Cultural Criticism – Spatial Turn, Gendered Spaces – Victorian Concepts of Gendered Space – Separate Spheres – Literary Spaces – Space in Literature – Space as Category of Gendered Literary Analysis – Gendered Spaces of Victorian Literature – Transgressing Spatial Dichotomies – Brontë Studies – Motif of Imprisonment – Misreading Spaces – Invasion of Artistic Spaces – Heterotopian Spaces – Smooth and Striated Spaces.