Jane Eyre

A Life On a Page

Subjective novelists tend to use personal attitudes to shape their characters. Whether it be an interjection of opinion here, or an allusion to personal experience there, the beauty of a story lies in the clever disclosure of the author's personality. Charlotte Bronte and Voltaire are no exceptions. Their most notable leading characters, Jane Eyre and Candide, represent direct expressions of the respective author's emotions and impressions. In their stories, Bronte and Voltaire create fictional settings and imaginary scenes. However, through the psyche of their leading protagonists, Bronte and Voltaire genuinely portray their own inner world - they are their own subjects. While the novels Jane Eyre and Candide are in no manner outright autobiographies, they are extremely similar in that the experiences and beliefs of Bronte and Voltaire serve to characterize Jane and Candide. A careful examination of both works reveals that Jane and Candide evince the contrasting ideals of Bronte and Voltaire in various spheres.

As individuals, Voltaire and Charlotte Bronte could not have been any more different. They lived in opposing eras, had unlike backgrounds, and espoused divergent philosophies. While Candide, which some consider...

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