There seems a clear sense inwhich the categories I have used to analyse Charlotte and Emily’s fiction can be extended to Anne Bronte’s two novels. Agnes Grey and The Tenant of Wildfell Hall share a triadic structure: in both cases a pious heroine is flanked by a morally lax upper class on the one hand and a principled hero on the other; and each book ends with her extrication from the clutches of the first and her embracing of the alternative values offered by the second. Agnes Grey is saved from her enslavement as governess to the boorish Bloomfields and insufferable Murrays by marrying the upright young curate Weston; Helen Huntingdon, the tenant of Wildfell Hall, deserts a profligate aristocrat to find happiness with the novel’s honest gentleman-farmer hero Gilbert Markham.
KeywordsMarriage Market Social Achievement Triadic Structure Petty Bourgeoisie Moral Laxity
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