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Charlotte witnessed her sister Anne's illness and death. In memoriam, she writes about wishing Anne would die in order to relieve her of the great pain of dying. After she passes, Charlotte notes how Anne took her family's hopefulness and meaning to the grave with her.
After a nasty breakup, Francis finds herself struggling with insomnia. She spends her nights roaming dark hallways. She cries and prays and anxiously awaits the dawn. In her limited perspective and grief, she longs for death because at least it offers some release from her present state of agony. Finally she decides that she will move away for the change of perspective.
William Makepeace Thackeray
A famous contemporary of Charles Dickens, Thackeray was a prominent writer during Bronte's time. The two were acquaintances, and Bronte admired his work immensely. In her poem "Regret," she calls upon him by his first name. In her disgust with aging and being forgotten, she finds that she has a great deal of regret for never pursuing her passions. She remembers reading Thackeray's work and feeling impassioned to accomplish similar feats in somebody's else's soul. While reading his work, she felt that she belonged to him instead of to herself. There's some definite notes of jealousy in the way she talks about him.
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