Essay on Female Protagonists in Women's Literature

2419 Words 10 Pages
They feasted upon it. They thirsted for it. Society looked down on them for it, but these women remained honey mad, remained desperate for salvation in flavor, and craved salvation in indulgence. Considered half-savage and more than a little deranged, they roamed, free to do what so many of the women in "civilized" society longed to do. In Honey Mad Women: Charlotte Bronte's Bilingual Heroines, Patricia Yaeger hypothesizes that "bilingual heroines... are also honey mad women: women who consume, to excess, the languages designed to consume them" (Yaeger 11). She applies this theory to Charlotte Bronte's heroines, but it is also applicable to other literary works such as The Golden Notebook by Doris Lessing, The Lais of Marie de …show more content…
When Jane sees this sorry spectacle, she tears the word off Helen's head and tosses it into the fire, but instead of being punished, she is found innocent of a previous charge of lying. Yaeger says that in this way, "her attack upon the word is obliquely condoned" (Yaeger 13).

After this pivotal scene, Jane feels free to feed upon honey, to luxuriate in the control and pleasure that language gives her. She is free to seek knowledge and enjoy the presence of language in her life.

In a few weeks, I was promoted to a higher class; in less than two months I was allowed to commence French and drawing. I learned the first two tenses of the word Etre and sketched my first cottage....That night on going to bed... I... prepar[ed]... and... feasted... on the spectacle of ideal drawings, which I saw in the dark- all the work of my own hands; freely penciled houses and trees, picturesque rocks and ruins, Cuyp-like groups of cattle, sweet paintings of butterflies hovering over unblown roses, of birds picking at ripe cherries, of wren's nests enclosing pearl-like eggs, wreathed about with young ivy sprays. I examined, too, in thought, the possibility of my ever being able to translate currently a certain little French story-book which Madame Pierrot had that day shown me; nor was that problem solved to my satisfaction ere I fell sweetly asleep (Bronte 106).

This scene shows Jane's burgeoning independence, as she imagines a world of her