Racist implications in Jane Eyre

Should the implied racism in texts such as Jane Eyre be addressed by readers and schools (who study it), like in Joseph Conrad’s work, or ignored as a product of its time?

  • I think if you do address this topic you should do so with the literary answer to the question that came in the form of 'Wild Sargasso Sea' by Jean Rhys. This is posed as a sequel to Jane Eyre and recounts the story of how Mrs Rochester ended up in the attic. It highlights the racism inherent in the text, while also not undermining its literary power. My answer is that of course it should not be ignored, no racist text should be as to ignore our past is to repeat it. – SaraiMW 6 years ago
  • I think it is a valuable practice to apply new lens to classical texts. Even if the implied racism wasn't intentional, new insights and knowledge can be gleaned from a text. For instance, racism may have been so embedded within the culture that they just didn't see it (not unlike today in all honest) or we may be able to run parallels or draw connections between the theme of racism in Jane Eyre and contemporary works that have a more explicit portral of racism. – taraeast88 6 years ago

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