Rebecca – Critical Reading

Morning folks,

We’ll be starting Rebecca when you get back from prleim leave, and below are links to some critical reading articles I’d like to you to look at – I’ve got copies of them for you to have as well, with the exception of the much longer theses.

As you look at these, always keep in mind where the similarities and/or contrasts are with Jane Eyre – you need to be comparative throughout, remember.

Happy reading!

Daphne du Maurier and the Gothic tradition

Echoes in Gothic Romance – Stylistic Similarities Between Jane Eyre and Rebecca

Dissertation Jane Eyre Rebecca Self Identity

How Daphne du Maurier wrote Rebecca

Identity In Daphne Du Maurier

Nightmares, mirrors and possession in Daphne du Maurier’s Rebecca


The Jane Eyre- Myth in Jane Eyre, Rebecca and Nine Coaches Waiting


Jane Eyre – Bertha Mason

As we study the figure of Bertha Mason – the infamous ‘madwoman in the attic’ – consider the following questions:

  • Gothic elements – Bertha as a double of Jane?
  • How effective is her ‘haunting’ of Jane?
  • Symbols? Fire, animalism, etc. What do these have in common with how young Jane is described?
  • What does she represent? How can we support that with reference to the novel?
  • Consider the post-colonial criticism of the novel – does Bertha somehow represent this ‘other’ and lingering attitudes over the superiority/inferiority of certain races?
  • How is she described in the novel – what does that indicate about both Jane and Rochester’s opinion of her?
  • Her demise – cleansing somehow, or consumed by her passion/desires?


Here’s a link to a video from The British Library discussing Bertha:

And an article as well:

The figure of Bertha Mason

Jane Eyre – Literary Study Homework

This is due in on Wednesday 13th November.


Discuss the thematic effectiveness of the use of setting in ‘Jane Eyre’, with specific reference to Gateshead and Lowood.

  • Plan a response to the above question.
  • You will write this under exam conditions during Thursday’s double period.

Areas to consider:

  • social inequality
  • hypocrisy of religion and religious fervour
  • gender hierarchies
  • the roles Mrs Reed/Helen Burns/Mr Brocklehurst play in this part of the novel
  • Symbolism of both the red room and Helen Burns

Plath – Ariel annotations

Without a doubt, my favourite poem of the bunch – it’s just gorgeous.

Here’s the annotations, most of which we’ve discussed, but have a read of the handout I gave you, as well as perhaps looking into the  intertextual references within the poem:

  • Ariel – character from The Tempest, as well as Hebrew for ‘God’s Lion’, and, of course, the name of Plath’s horse.
  • Lady Godiva – a woman who stripped naked and rode a horse around Coventry to protest a taxation her husband had placed on the people.