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Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte and Spoonface Steinberg by Lee Hall

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Introduction

Comparison of A Pre-twentieth Century Text With a Twentieth Century Text For my comparison I have chosen the following novel and play to compare, Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte and Spoonface Steinberg by Lee Hall. The two authors of these stories show different ways in portraying first person narrative and childhood. The way that they use these two main themes is what I have chosen to compare. Spoonface Steinberg is a heart-warming, funny and moving story about life, death and faith, told from the viewpoint of a young autistic girl dying of cancer. Jane Eyre is a story of a young girl who is orphaned into the household of her Aunt Reed at Gateshead and is subject to the cruelty at Lowood charity school. Jane Eyre is a girl who grows up to be a heroic, powerful and passionate woman and her story shows the changes and inspirations that made her search for a wider and richer life than that traditionally accorded to her sex in Victorian Society. Charlotte Bronte wrote the book in 1847 and it is split up into 3 volumes, indicating the three different stages of her life. Spoonface Steinberg consists of a straightforward monologue, only spoken by Spoonface. Therefore the whole play is spoken in first person narrative. ...read more.

Middle

She is frequently tormented by the family who only respond to her rebellions with some sort of punishment. E.g. " I felt him grasp my hair and my shoulder...I felt a drop or two of blood from my head trickle down my neck...he called "Rat!rat!" and bellowed out aloud" Her isolation makes her, in the period that this story was set in, doubly vulnerable to indifference and cruelty suffered in both her school and house. Spoonface talks about past events and almost gives quotes but not directly to the reader. It's in the way she says things and the way the author uses the dashes in her speech. E.g. when she talks about her Mom and Dad and why they split up. " Then one day Dad said that he had met one person who was doing a different PhD to Mam and that she was very nice and that he would go away to live with her for a bit - and Mam said that she was glad of him to go - and even though I was backwards and that - it would be better than his stupid face-" Spoonface obviously doesn't think that her dad has a "stupid face" and she doesn't know if her Dad's new girlfriend is "very nice" but when she tells this to the reader or audience its as if she is trying to convince them also in the bargain, because this is what she's heard when she was witnessing the fight. ...read more.

Conclusion

Children in the Nineteenth Century, unless they were rich, were seen as extra employees for factories mainly. Only the well off citizens got an education for their children and brought them up in an environment where they weren't exposed to the lower classes. Girls and women were seen to be, people of the house that stayed there and were escorted round by their husbands if anyone were to. They were treated as second-class citizens and men had all the power. This is probably why Jane Eyre shocked some critics at the time because of her rebellious nature and outspoken ways. Charlotte Bronte uses a lot of pathetic fallacy in her novel, E.g. " solitary rocks" and "ceaseless rain sweeping away wildly before a long and lamentable blast". I think this is because of the fact that it was written in the romantic era where books were based on the heart ruling the mind and emotional and long descriptions were frequently used. Contrasting to this, I think mainly because of the period Spoonface is set, and because she is a child throughout the play, Lee Hall doesn't use pathetic fallacy. All in all I think that both these stories have similarities and differences, but more similarities than differences and most probably because of the period that it was set and what main writing themes were being carried out back then. In Jane Eyre there is a lot more social and cultural differences but in Spoonface, they area lot less recognised. ...read more.

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