The Myth, the Story and the Romance: the Jane Eyre- Myth in Jane Eyre, Rebecca and Nine Coaches Waiting
Kerkhof Mogot, G.
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Jane Eyre has been reproduced many times, in many forms. Every since its publication the novel has been very popular. Next to Jane Eyre itself this thesis will examine two novels, Rebecca and Nine Coaches Waiting which use the famous myth around Jane Eyre. The myth is: plain girl meets dark handsome and rich man but she does not marry him until she is independent herself. These elements give the novel the character of a Bildungsroman; throughout the novel the heroine develops and grows. Significant for the myth are its ending, the character of the heroine, the Gothic elements, the romantic suspense and the form of narration. These are the basic elements of the myth and they recur in the other reproductions of Jane Eyre. The combination of the myth’s high literary value and its romantic suspense account for its continuing popularity. On the one hand it is a Bildungsroman displaying the growth of a young lady fighting the system to become an independent woman. On the other hand, it is the classic romantic love story of a poor girl who wins the heart of a rich, outspoken character of a man. Despite the obstacles the novel has a happy ending and the couple marries. This thesis will be analysing the polarity of the myth by answering the following question: what causes the popularity and quality of the Jane Eyre-myth? This thesis will look at the significant elements of the myth mentioned earlier and which recur in Rebecca and Nine Coaches Waiting.