What brand of heroine can be found in the Twilight series? What discernible characteristics of a heroine can be found in gothic fiction and do these characteristics contribute to a social definition of girlhood/womanhood? In an analysis of the Twilight series' protagonist as a gothic heroine in contrast to Charlotte Brontë's Jane Eyre, I claim that the author, Stephenie Meyer, constructs a particular category of contemporary gothic heroine. Drawing on the statement made by the novel's leading male character, Edward, to Bella that she is his “brand of heroin,“ this article plays with the idea that Meyer merged elements of the bildungsroman and the Female Gothic to create her brand. This brand of heroine fulfills the three distinct categories of girlhood/womanhood that characterize both the Gothic novel and the bildungsroman: a dependent stage, a caretaker stage, and a wife stage.
Convergences and Divergences of the Gothic Literary Heroine
Apocalypse and Empire in Jane Eyre
The centrality of the colonial motif in Jane Eyre has been well established. The figure of Bertha Mason Rochester haunting the text has made this centrality undeniable: her confinement at Thornfield Hall drives the plot, her eventual fiery demise both enables and conditions the conclusion, and the oppression of Bertha and other peoples subjected to imperial domination metaphorises Jane’s subjection to the patriarchal authority of various males throughout the narrative. Moreover, the wealth appropriated from the colonies materially sustains the society with which the novel concerns itself.3 The conclusion of Jane Eyre reinforces the preponderance of the colonial motif. The imperial project is foregrounded at the novel’s end in St John’s mission to India, and the characters of the novel are sustained by the wealth obtained from the colonies in the form of Jane’s inheritance. The novel’s ending, however, has been read by many recent critics as an affirmation of St John’s evangelising mission, leading some of them to conclude that Jane Eyre represents Charlotte Bronte’s own colonial appropriation.
Emerging Conversations on Girls’ Literature and Girlhood
Dawn Sardella-Ayres and Ashley N. Reese
Women, Betsy-Tacy, and Harriet the Spy as Girls’ Künstlerromane. ” Masters thesis, Hollins University . Seelye , John . 2005 . Jane Eyre's American Daughters: From The Wide, Wide World to Anne of Green Gables a Study of Marginalized Maidens and What