Date of Award

8-8-2017

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Department

English

First Advisor

Lindsey Eckert

Second Advisor

John Burrison

Third Advisor

Paul Schmidt

Abstract

Charlotte and Emily Brontë both incorporate folk traditions into their novels, which help define and complicate notions of class and identity in their work. This thesis examines the folklore of the novels, including customs, folktales, and material folk culture, and explores how these elements work within the worlds created by the Brontës. While scholars such as Micael Clarke, Lauren Lepow, and Heta Pyrhönen have established the presence of folk tale, ballad, and supernatural motifs in the Brontës’ work, few have discussed the ways in which folk culture, in particular, underscores the notions of class and identity.

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