Wednesday, October 2, 2019

Jane Eyre :: Literature Literary Papers

Jane Eyre In the time of Jane Eyre, an aristocratic gentleman’s education did not end with secondary schooling. The final step in such an Englishman’s education was to take a Grand Tour of Europe. Thomas Nugent, an influential travel writer, describes the Grand Tour as "a custom so visibly tending to enrich the mind with knowledge, to rectify the judgment, to remove the prejudices of education, to compose the outward manners, and in a word form the complete gentleman" (Buzard 98). Throughout the novel, Rochester makes countless references to his travels and conquests on Continental Europe. In order to fully understand his disposition and character, it is necessary to examine this customary journey and its beneficial and in some cases detrimental effects on the young gentleman’s life. A tour of the Grand Tour will explain the life altering properties of such a voyage. The Victorian Era brought about a great change in the social hierarchy in Brontà «Ã¢â‚¬â„¢s England. The economic windfall that followed industrial capitalism created new wealth outside of land ownership and brought about the rise of the middle classes (8; Introduction). While this allowed more middle-class tourists from England to travel to Europe, due to cost, most restricted their journeys to Paris and the Low Countries (Black 4-5). Only the truly rich could afford the entire itinerary of the Grand Tour. A common itinerary included Paris, Rome Venice, Florence, and Naples. Rome is recommended for those interested in viewing "numerous spectacles both entertaining and exciting or gruesome and pathetic" (Hibbert 170). Everything from celebrations to executions were held daily and most English travelers wouldn’t leave without witnessing one or the other. Paris and Rome were considered the most important of destinations while the other cities of Italy ranked a close second. Sti ll other cities, like Vienna, while important, were matters of "personal preference, fashion, convenience, and the impact of external factors – war, political disorder and disease" (Black 5-6). These cities off the beaten path were also considerably more difficult to reach and because of this they were more expensive. The greatest number of travelers began their journey in Paris before continuing south to Italy (Black 8). Italy itself posed a difficulty in that reaching it required either crossing the Alps or taking a sea route, with a majority taking the Alps (Black 19-20). The difficulty of crossing the Alps was vastly overrated. In most situations, travelers were placed in stretcher-like chairs and carried over the mountain (Hibbert 97).

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