oa Alternation - Reconfiguring home: Charlotte Bront meets Njabulo Ndebele

Volume 15, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 1023-1757



This article derives from my MA dissertation, A Postcolonial, Feminist Reading of the Representation of 'home' in Jane Eyre and Villette by Charlotte Bronte (2007)1. Focusing on questions of home, homelessness and marginality, the title arises from Bronte's overt preoccupation with conditions of female social marginality and orphanhood-issues central to the postcolonial problematic. A postcolonial feminist reading of the representation of home in Bronte's novels reveals the dynamic and unstable qualities of a concept that prompts a new and different reading of Victorian literature. One can begin to question the notions of home that are operative in the fictions of the old metropolis from a new centre (South Africa). This allows a reading across boundaries which has the potential to change the configurations of empire. It is also argued that a situated rereading of classic nineteenth century texts can shed light on more contemporary representations of home, homelessness, marginality and the subaltern.

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