Front cover image for Masculinity and Gossip in Anne Brontë's Tenant


Masculinity and Gossip in Anne Brontë's Tenant

Abstract: This paper examines Anne Brontë's novel against debates about women and women's influence. It argues that Brontë forges a middle ground between Mary Wollstonecraft and Hannah More, rejecting not only the former's repudiation of women's culture but also the latter's aggrandizement of women's influence. Brontë exposes some of the most dearly held fictions of femininity, even as she sympathetically explores its engagement with the production of a "new masculinity." To this end, she offers the very "feminine" behavior of "gossip" or "idle chat," rather than women themselves, as a tool to rehabilitate men who are drawn to a hypermasculine culture of violence
Article, 2009
Project Muse, 2009
SEL Studies in English Literature 1500-1900, 49, 2009, 907