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Jane Eyre and the tradition of self assertion: or, Bronte's socialization of Schiller's "play aesthetic".

WE all know there are times to get angry and times to restrain anger, times to pursue love and times to resist it, times to question, perhaps even contradict, our doctor, and times to trust her recommended correction. The question is not whether to assert or to check our will, but when and where. Which does this time call for? Will our understanding come on time or be too late?

This all sounds too deliberate, of course. Sometimes our response requires little or no deliberation--and is trustworthy. Sometimes it explodes upon us and upon others, and still turns out to be trustworthy. Other times, we must admit, it is not. Jane Eyre opens with such an explosion. It gives us a concrete situation through which to test our notion of self-assertion and, especially, to consider under what conditions self-assertion is both productive and worthy of our trust. Bronte's novel also invites us to ask whether there might be a tradition of self-assertion. If so, does such a tradition help us understand the conditions under which self-assertion might be both productive and trustworthy? Or might the tradition need correcting?

Three pages into the novel, the fourteen-year-old John Reed enters the room and, without provocation, searches for his cousin Jane Eyre, four years his junior. He evidently has no good purpose in mind. As if we too were temporarily protected from it, like Jane, who is hiding behind folds of scarlet drapery, we hear from a secret, perhaps privileged, spot his varied bluster. John calls out "Bob! Madame Mope!" Failing to spot his cousin, he cries, "Where the dickens is she? Lizzy, Georgy! (calling to his sisters) Joan is not here: tell mama she is run out into the rain--bad animal!" His ugly nominations and her liminal reading space in the temporarily concealed window seat create a deep identification between Jane's first-person character and the readers.

When John's sister Liza exposes Jane and she comes out from behind the drapes, the give and take that follows sets the stage, despite the ages of its actors, for the question the rest of the novel will pursue, namely, under what conditions self-assertion is productive:
 "What do you want?" I asked, with awkward diffidence.

 Say, "What do you want, Master Reed?" was the answer. "I
 want you to come here": and seating himself in an arm-chair, he
 intimated by a gesture that I was to approach and stand before him.
 (9-10)


The posture of diffidence, the language of gesture, the over-eager desire to be recognized as "Master" make the passage sound like children engaged in a deadly play of adult, perhaps even court, life. The deadliness of what should only have been child's play is accentuated by the two facts of Jane's social existence which the exchange will reveal: she is an orphan "pretender" to the rights of the "legitimate" children, and she is a girl vulnerable to the demands of the other sex as well as to betrayal by her own.

After Jane is forced to hand over her hook and go stand by the door, John throws at her the very book she had been reading, opening a wound on her head. Jane loses her diffidence as terror turns to anger. Her imagination runs away with her, but when Jane shows John the terrible adult roles he could fulfill, she also helps us recognize that self-assertion has a social as well as psychological force to it. "Wicked and cruel boy!" Jane says, and then shows him his adult self: "You are like a murderer--you are like a slave-driver--you are like the Roman emperors!" The second two names (slave-driver, emperor) imply not only a psychological but a social aberrance which it would be dangerous for her or others to resist. Indeed, one of the lessons Jane learns is that self-assertion always has a social as well as a psychological force. The dominant society cannot be dismissed exactly, but alternative societies, or communities within a society, can be sought and, through grace and hard work, sometimes found--with Miss Temple and Helen Burns in Part I, with Mrs. Fairfax and Adele in Part II, and with Diana and Mary Rivers in Part III, culminating in Jane's declaration that she will have sisters and a brother (392). They are as important to her, she says, as her new-found economic independence. The importance to Jane of female friendship, especially, invites us to construe self-assertion in relationship to community.

The outburst against her cousin John begins a series of life-narratives in which Jane faces the question of self-assertion. Looking at these narratives, we should not isolate individual decisions as if they were a series of "spots in time." The narrator's work, instead, is to describe a continuity of life out of which such decisions could be made--or, since "decisions" suggests more control than we often have, a continuity of life within which such actions seem plausible. At the beginning of the book, Jane's position as orphan seems obviously to place her outside of any tradition or society:
 I was a discord in Gateshead-hall: I was like nobody there: I had
 nothing in harmony with Mrs. Reed or her children, or her chosen
 vassalage. If they did not love me, in fact, as little did I love
 them. They were not bound to regard with affection a thing that
 could not sympathize with one amongst them: a heterogeneous thing,
 opposed to them in temperament, in capacity, in propensities ...
 (15-16)


And that is just the point: in order to resist domination by Gateshead-hall, not just be its outcast or scapegoat, Jane must find a different tradition and a different society to live by. She must construct a different memory and learn a new anticipation. For the self-assertion that freedom requires does not make its way apart from memory or hope, as Josiah Royce made clear in The Problem of Christianity. That means it does not make its way, as Jane learns, apart from one community or another. (1) In placing self-assertion within a context of the continuity and sociality of life, Jane Eyre raises questions that are still an important part of our life in late modernity. (2) For one, it raises the question whether there isn't a tradition of self-assertion. A "tradition of self-assertion" sounds like such a strange phrase to our ears that it may require some unpacking before we consider whether such a tradition might exist in early, middle, and late modernity.

SINCE a bridge is rarely thrown between the terms "tradition" and "self-assertion," let us begin with the individual terms first to see how accessible they may be to each other. In Tradition, social theorist Edward Shils helps us think about tradition in terms of both practices and beliefs, and he gives helpful attention to the patterns they form and the images used to describe them. Shils defined tradition as "the frequent recurrence ... of similar ... practices, institutions, and works" and their "normative transmission" (24). Such transmission, he thought, depended upon patterns or images of actions and upon the beliefs "requiring, recommending, regulating, permitting, or prohibiting the re-enactment of those patterns" (12). For Shils tradition was not the re-enactment of states of sentiment or mind, nor of physical actions or social relationships, so much as it was the patterns which guided their re-enactment (31). Those patterns, according to Shils, were not static but open to change: "Even to adhere to previously established patterns, it is necessary to contrive new ones because the situations of action, to which earlier patterns handed down by tradition were adequate, undergo changes of greater or lesser magnitudes" (29). With Shils in mind, let us take for our working definition of tradition the recurrent patterns or images of practices, and the beliefs that impinge upon them.

When we turn our attention from the beginning to the end term in "a tradition of self-assertion," we first seem stymied by theoretical debates about the existence or non-existence of a self. But these debates may be avoided if we follow Hans Blumenberg's definition of self-assertion as an "existential program." Blumenberg's definition makes no claims about or for an essential self but restricts itself to an existential program "according to which man posits his existence in a historical situation and indicates to himself how he is going to deal with the reality surrounding him and what use he will make of the possibilities that are open to him" (138).

With the help of Shils and Blumenberg, let us define the "tradition of self-assertion" as recognizable patterns or images of, and beliefs about. the ways men and women have posited their existence to themselves and others in a historical situation. This positing of an existence has a pragmatic and futural element to it, a notion of how to deal with the surrounding reality as well as what to make of the possibilities for the future. A brief sketch of self-assertion in the modern tradition will help us isolate some typical patterns, images, and beliefs before turning to the way Jane Eyre might give us new insight into that tradition. I will argue that Bronte's novel challenges this tradition from within and does so by socializing the "play aesthetic" Friedrich Schiller developed at the end of the previous century in his Aesthetic Education of Man, a Series of Letters. By "play aesthetic" I refer to Schiller's notion that "man only plays when he is in the fullest sense of the word a human being, and he is only fully a human being when he plays." This proposition, Schiller asserts, "will ... prove capable of bearing, the whole edifice of the art of the beautiful, and of the still more difficult art of living" (15.9). The "play-drive," according to Schiller, kept both the sense-drive and the form-drive from dominating the other. That freedom from domination Schiller calls play. In a footnote to Letter Thirteen, he writes, "Subordination there must, of course, be; but it must be reciprocal.... Both principles [drives] are, therefore, at once subordinated to each other and co-ordinated with each other, that is to say, they stand in reciprocal relation to one another: without form no matter, and without matter no form." (13.2). This reciprocal relation must be one of strength, not weakness or curtailment. Two strong drives must meet each other in order that neither would dominate the other. "[T]he relaxing of the sense-drive must in no wise be the result of physical impotence or blunted feeling, which never merits anything but contempt." Schiller writes. "In the same way the relaxing of the formal drive must not be the result of spiritual impotence or flabbiness of thought or will; for this would only degrade man. It must, if it is to be at all praiseworthy, spring from abundance of feeling and sensation" (13.6). Near the end of this essay, I will argue that Schiller and Bronte recuperate elements of an Augustinian notion of character or personhood according to which passion is not dominated by reason, or reason by passion, but both serve some larger goal. But now for that brief sketch I promised.

NEAR the beginning of the seventeenth century Francis Bacon argued that the Idols of the human mind, itself too easily plied by language, required correction before knowledge could advance. His challenge to language and to dogma emphasized the value of present experience over established patterns of practice or belief. Descartes's cogio, ergo sum was a similarly early moment in the modern tradition of self-assertion, and it reminds us that our notions of self-assertion and our ways of knowing implicate each other. Descartes's cogito articulated an opposition between self-assertion and tradition that became typical of the modern world. Descartes asserted his own independence through the rise of categorical doubt, stating that he could call everything into doubt except the fact that he was calling everything into doubt. This assertion of self went hand in hand with the loosening up of the claims of tradition. (In fact, it figured tradition as a stiffer, more unwieldy and demanding thing than imagined by early Renaissance artists and writers.) Descartes could assert himself in what Blumenberg calls a typically modern way by refraining from decisive judgment (185). If such withholding of judgment was not practical for all areas of life, it was at least possible methodologically. Towards the end of the century, Locke voices his concern in An Essay on Human Understanding that experience, and not pre-established dispositions, be attached to words. This continues the opposition of self-assertion to tradition. In his epistemology, the blank slate images the mind not yet impressed by experience. Pre-established dispositions should not obscure the stamp of experience, especially not as that affects our thought about political rights and responsibilities. In Locke's speculative history, the virgin state of nature images a life not yet influenced, one might say not yet tainted, by society.

While Locke used the "blank slate" and "state of nature" to show us what those entangled within the web of traditional society do not so easily see, in fiction a similar impulse could be found in the figure of the picaro, or the wanderer, and later of the orphan or outcast of society. Travel literature, including its fictionalized versions, provided the same opportunity to imagine the slate clean again, as did pictorial versions of the New World. (3) Nor was self-assertion limited to secular literature. Avowedly Christian works such as Bunyan's Pilgrim's Progress, especially Part I, and Milton's Areopagitica similarly affirmed an important if difficult self-assertion. (4) They had good cause for doing so. Enacted poorly, self-assertion led back to the Fall described in Genesis 3. But Revelations 3 also suggested that God dismissed those like the Laodiceans who refused self-assertion through sloth or fear. Dante's fourteenth-century Inferno had placed in the porch of hell the "neutrals" who had refused to exercise the gift of choice given them at birth. In Dante's re-working of John's letter to the church tit Laodicea, not only heaven but also hell spurned those who had refused the human task of making choices, choosing a life. (5) This is nearly the first gesture of the book described by' Erich Auerbach as an inaugural moment in the history of the modern world. But in Dante self-assertion is trained (urged, qualified, redirected) by guides, themselves commissioned by a community of women in heaven (Beatrice, Lucia, Mary).

Though the early modern efforts at self-assertion, especially in the secular works of Descartes and Locke, emphasized rational means of fleeing the experience of sell from the authority of tradition, the middle modern period determined that reason was not the only or even the best means. Another was empathy or kinship, between individuals or between an individual and nature. Such genial connection could cancel or overarch distinctions within or between traditions. The scene upon which such empathy was most often written was childhood, though the rural worker, the artist, or the "noble savage" could serve as well. Wordsworth's secular doxology in "The Rainbow" was ,just its strong as Descartes's cogito. ergo sum. Wordsworth asserts. "The Child is father of the Man; / And I could wish my days to be / Bound each to each by natural piety." Later these three lines are attached as a headnote to "Intimations of Immortality," the poem of the child as "best philosopher" and "Nature's Priest." (6)

This brief sketch helps us isolate several patterns in a modern tradition of self-assertion, including the methodological withholding of assent and the effort not to be ruled by deceits of language. Images within this tradition include the "breaking of idols," the mind as a slate which began blank and, with effort, can be imagined as if blank again, the picaro (or wanderer or journeyer or orphan) as a character who roams on the outskirts of the social world and thereby gives us insight into it, the "New World," and the child/artist. Many assert within this tradition an infinitely revisable self which can be freed from the prejudice of tradition either by reason or by empathy. When Harold Bloom, for example, characterizes the self-revising character of Hamlet, he is also characterizing us:
 Hamlet yields himself up to accident, at the last, perhaps because
 he has all but exhausted the possibilities for change that even his
 protean character possesses. This is our mode of representation.
 inherited by us from Shakespeare, and we no longer are able to see
 how original it originally was. (4-5)


The protean character, the infinitely revisable self, the refusal of predictability describe, for Bloom, Shakespeare's creation of the modern character, both in Hamlet and in Hamlet's audience. Bloom's modern stance is clarified by Richard Rorty through comparison of Bloom's modern poet to Aristotle's ancient philosopher:
 The wonder in which Aristotle believed philosophy to begin was
 wonder at finding oneself in a world larger, stronger, nobler than
 oneself. The fear in which Bloom's poets begin is the fear that one
 might end one's days in such a world, a world one never made, an
 inherited world ... Success in that enterprise--the enterprise of
 saying "Thus I willed it" to the past--is success in what Bloom
 calls "giving birth to oneself." (29)


While Blumenberg had argued that theistic absolutism--the powerful but distant God of the medieval world--led to the counter-movement of self-assertion, Rorty describes in Bloom a similar counter-movement against the past. He states that Bloom's poet wishes that "what the past tried to do to her she will succeed in doing to the past: to make the past itself, including those very causal processes which blindly impressed all her own behavings, bear her impress" (29).

Having gathered the testimony of these voices of early, middle, and late modernism, we may affirm that an identifiable tradition of self-assertion extends from the seventeenth century through Bronte to her modern reader. In that tradition, self-assertion and tradition were most often thought of as opponents. But Bronte's Jane qualifies that opposition in important ways. She leads us to ask if tradition might not necessarily mean a loss of freedom? What if, in fact, "giving birth to oneself" bears greater potential for the loss of freedom than tradition as tradition does? Not content, like Zeus, with birthing wisdom, we would be self-begotten, in an ancient myth gone sour. (7) But absolute individualism may leave us vulnerable to the manipulations of the modern world. In The Past in Ruins: Tradition and the Critique of Modernity, historian David Gross warns us that change that cancels or co-opts tradition can lessen our resistance to the manipulations of the modern market and the modern state. He may be right. Consider the appeals of advertising and of campaign slogans to the new creation or recreation of an unencumbered self.

IN the ideal of character that prevailed, according to historian Daniel Walker Howe, "not only in early America but on both sides of the Atlantic," two faculties of the mind were acknowledged as rational: conscience and prudence. In a properly balanced character "these would control the actions of the individual, and to them the various passions ... of human nature would be subordinated." This ideal of character, according to Howe, was "readily harmonized with both Reformed Christianity and Lockean liberalism as well as with classical republicanism" (24). It was the goal not only of the individual but also of government. "The subordination of the bad self to the good self, of passion and impulse to reason and conscience," Howe writes, "was a major theme of political, social, and literary discourse in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries." Howe concludes, "It was this intrapersonal subordination, not that of the individual to the community, that the writers most often praised and demanded" (24). It is just this intrapersonal subordination that breaks down in the opening chapter of Jane Eyre.

Bronte's challenge to the supposedly ethical domination of passion by reason learns much, I will argue, from Schiller's play aesthetic: but where Schiller's thought becomes increasingly psychological Bronte emphasizes the social. This is still an important question for us to think through today. For Howe is right that the reading, of this intrapersonal subordination, then and now, has political and social implications. Religious, too. In his commentary on Paul's writing in I Corinthians 15, for example, Josiah Royce wrote that
 the death over which [the community of the faithful] triumphs is
 the death of the lonely individual, whom faith beholds raised to
 the imperishable life in the spirit. This life in the spirit is
 also the life of the community. For the individual is saved,
 according to Paul, only in and through and with the team community
 and its Lord. (260)


As one who writes from within a Reformed Christian tradition, this sounds closer to a view of character I could embrace than the amalgam with Lockean liberalism and classical republicanism that Howe describes. I do not deny the historical confluence of Reformed Christianity, Lockean liberalism, and classical republicanism, but I am vexed by our turn towards a Modern two-tiered view of character, with reason meant to short-arm passion. How is it that we lost the Augustinian insight that reason's task is not to contain the evils of passion but rather, with passion, to turn towards, rather than away from God? And how can we mark recovery from or criticism of such loss?

Jane may affirm the importance of community by the end of the novel, but in Chapter One there is no place to turn. The opening chapter ends with Jane's almost automatic defense of herself ("I don't very well know what I did with my hands"). But when the command is given to lock her away in the red room, Jane turns resolute:
 I resisted all the way: a new thing for me, and a circumstance
 which greatly strengthened the bad opinion Bessie and Miss
 Abbot were disposed to entertain of me. The fact is, I was a trifle
 beside myself; or rather out of myself, as the French would say: I
 was conscious that a moment's mutiny had already rendered me
 liable to strange penalties, and like any other rebel slave, I felt
 resolved in my desperation to go all lengths. (12)


This resolution is encouraged by the narrator and cheered by the reader; but it is also undercut by the shape of the narrative. Bronte surrounds this moment of desperate resolution with the immediately prior criticism by the nurse or maid ("Did ever anybody see such a picture of passion!") (9) and the later correction of Jane by her new found friend, Helen Burns, at Lowood. After Jane pours out her story of mistreatment, Helen is quiet for a moment; when Jane demands a response, Helen says, "Would you not be happier if you tried to forget her severity, together with the passionate emotions it excited? Life appears to me too short to be spent in nursing animosity, or registering wrongs." The tenor of Helen's life, and death, makes this advice difficult for Jane and her reader to contradict. It sounds like a correction along the lines Howe describes: one must subordinate the bad self to the good self, passion and impulse to reason and conscience.

But Helen's advice is carefully qualified from the beginning. Though Jane grows to accept that life is too short to fill one's memory by "nursing animosities, or registering wrongs," she never does forget Mrs. Reed's severity or deny the passionate emotions it excited. It is not sufficient to be "beside" or "out of" oneself, but neither is it wrong. Jane's hearing of Rochester's voice when she is at Moorhouse, for example, is another "out of oneself" experience, but one which the novel seems to approve. And there is a long Scriptural tradition which refuses to equate self-control with faithfulness. Paul's bold self-recommendation to the church at Corinth is a strong instance. He writes, "If we are out of our mind, it is for the sake of God; if we are in our right mind, it is for you" (II Cor. 5:13). This situation is exemplary, but it is also difficult--difficult because Paul's words suggest that being in one's right mind might be as great a sacrifice, as stringent a task, as being out of one's mind, a knowledge Jane felt keenly. Jane learns not to be blinded by passion, but she also knows that passion can be a necessary guide to self-assertion and an important element in forging a life worth living. Dreams, art, the excitement of society, the power of nature--all continue in Jane the force of her passion and prepare the way for her to claim equality with the socially superior Rochester, who wishes to deceive her into marriage, and with the religiously disciplined St. John, who wishes her to submit to a passionless marriage.

Much criticism has gotten stuck on just this point, wanting the novel to champion either passion or reason and then being disappointed when one seems to be checked by the other's countervailing force. We will see that Schiller helps us hold both together more than contemporary criticism does. For example, in 1977 Peter Grudin described Jane Eyre as "a didactic novel which subordinates the values of passion to those of restraint." Grudin was optimistic about the value of such a subordination, but later critics were less sure. Dianne Sadoff and John Hutcheson marked a similar subordination, but regretfully. Sadoff described a "dialectic of mastery and submission" in which Bronte "find[s] subversion and female mastery at the last minute too risky for completion." Hutcheson credits Bronte with a "subdued feminism" but sounds a similar complaint to Sadoff's: in Bronte's novels "self-assertion is followed by acceptance: determination by passivity; desire by renunciation." The religious values described with approval in Grudin's psychological study are countered by other religious values in Sandra Gilbert's study. Gilbert writes that Bronte's "passionate drive toward freedom" led her to reject the philosophy of Pilgrim's Progress and its "'crucifying denial of the self." In fact, Gilbert characterizes Jane Eyre as "an "irreligious' re-definition--almost a parody--of John Bunyan's vision" (370). Doreen Roberts analyzes the stylistic basis for critical concern about passion and restraint, mastery and submission. She notes such features as syntactic antithesis, adverbial displacement, and repeated passive constructions and concludes that "[t]he style of the Age of Reason meets and clashes with the style of the romance and its assimilations from the Bible and Bunyan ... The style itself enacts the struggle which is the theme of the plot" (137-38).

Roberts's stylistic analysis gets us closer to the truth: in the conflicting interpretations of Jane Eyre we find just that play of forces at work in the novel itself. Bronte championed both passion and reason. Lyndall Gordon was only half right in sub-titling her excellent recent biography of Charlotte Bronte "A Life of Passion." Bronte, certainly, could criticize Jane Austen for her ignorance of the passions: "The passions are perfectly unknown to her; she rejects even a speaking acquaintance with that stormy sisterhood.... [W]hat throbs fast and full, though hidden, what the blood rushes through, what is the unseen seat of life and the sentient target of death--this Miss Austen ignores" (Shorter 398). But Bronte just as clearly honored the extricating power of reason, as is clear in Jane's recollection of the interruption of her wedding and the discovery of Bertha. Jane says she withdrew to her room
 mechanically to take off the wedding dress, and replace it by the
 stuff gown I had worn yesterday, as I thought, for the last time. I
 then sat down: I felt weak and tired. I leaned my arms on a table,
 and my head dropped on them. And now I thought: till now I had
 only heard, seen, moved--followed up and down where I was led
 or dragged--watched event rush on event, disclosure open
 beyond disclosure: but now I thought. (298)


This repeats the movement by which Jane had extricated herself from Lowood: "I sat up in bed by way of arousing this said brain: it was a chilly night; I covered my shoulders with a shawl, and then I proceeded to think again with all my might" (87).

In a tradition where most often reason or passion had served the cause of sell-assertion, but not both, where do Jane and her author gain the resources to put both more or less equally at play? The answer for both character and author is the same, I think: in her experience and, if this can be separated from experience, in her reading. Jane's early excesses and later friendships taught her to resist the domination of passion; but so too did her experiences of Brocklehurst and Eliza teach her to abhor domination by reason. A strict and distant father and the restrictions of a life as governess showed Bronte the limits of control and reason; but the excesses of an ungovernable brother taught her that passion could be just as tyrannical. This was a lesson Friedrich Schiller had tried to work out at the end of the previous century. Schiller's writings are what the narrator tells us Diana, Mary, and Jane read at Moorhouse. Given these references and the enormous popularity through the first half of the nineteenth century of Tytler's 1792 translation of Schiller's The Robbers, it seems reasonable to suppose that Bronte must also have read Schiller or learned the cultural meanings attributed to his name. (10)

Schiller describes the dangers of barbarism and savagery in the fourth of the Letters on the Aesthetic Education of Man, a series written to his Danish patron, Prince Friedrich Christian. The first letters were lost in a fire in 1793, but the series was recast and published by 1795, and then revised again by 1801. Schiller's description bears some resemblance to Franz and Karl, the two brothers who had dominated the action of The Robbers" (written by Schiller at age nineteen), as well as to the excesses that plagued the French Revolution. Though Schiller, like George Washington, had been invited by the French National Assembly to become an honorary citizen, by 1795 he worries about its excesses. "But man can be at odds with himself in two ways," Schiller writes: "either as savage, when feeling predominates over principle; or as barbarian when principle destroys feeling." In letter five Schiller describes these two characters in terms more familiar to readers of Bronte's novel: "The child of Nature, when he breaks loose, turns into a madman [ein Rasender]; the creature of Civilization into a knave [ein Nichtswurdiger]." In Schiller's view, an aesthetic education would develop the "play drive" that would free us from domination by either the rational or the sensuous drive. Schiller concludes the fourth letter with the antidote necessary for those who desire to follow the call of political freedom: "[W]henever Reason starts to introduce the unity of the moral law into any actually existing society, she must beware of damaging the variety of Nature. And whenever Nature endeavours to maintain her variety within the moral framework of society, moral unity must not suffer any infringement thereby." Though Schiller saw clearly that reason and passion would never find an ideal harmony or balance, the effective tension between them, each refusing domination by the other, made freedom possible. Only in this way, promoted through aesthetic education, could one prepare the long revolution of the mind necessary to make political change possible without the violent dismantling of society.

Schiller corrects a too-narrow concept of the aesthetic. He is, rightly, more interested in developing an aesthetically sensitive life than in pursuing art criticism. As his argument proceeds, however, his description of an aesthetic education becomes more psychological and its social or political elements recede. It becomes difficult to make the link between a personal and a social freedom. It is this difficulty of linking personal and social freedom that concerned many female novelists of the nineteenth century, but perhaps none more so than Bronte in Jane Eyre.

How do we articulate the way that Schiller and Bronte shared a desire to alter the perceived relationship between reason and passion? And how would an altered way of seeing the relationship between reason and passion affect a Modern tradition of self-assertion? Can we mark changes in images, patterns, and beliefs, for example? I think we may say that Schiller and Bronte both put into play--had their characters perform--a struggle between reason and passion. This struggle countered the Modern ideal of character described by Howe, namely, "[t]he subordination ... of passion and impulse to reason and conscience" (24). Bronte's greater ability to link questions of aesthetics and psychology to social relationships deepens and to some extent corrects what we can learn from Schiller's dramatic and theoretical works. But her inclusion of Schiller's name in her work suggests his helpfulness to her in challenging the Modern ideal of character.

It is not the frequency but the context of Bronte's references to Schiller that is remarkable. While there are only three references to Schiller or his writing (all three appear in Part III of the novel), two of the three scenes have something uncanny, almost hyper-real, about them. The first is associated with Jane's pleasure at first notice of the sisters, the second with her resistance to their brother.

The first scene is like a still life that suddenly begins to speak. After Jane had stumbled across the heath to the isolated cottage (Moorhouse) and was crouched outside one of its low windows, peering in at its inhabitants, the silence of the house is broken by one of its inhabitants reading out loud a passage from the book she had been reading. Jane's liminal position at the window is as a non-reader observing readers: "This scene was as silent as if all the figures had been shadows, and the fire-lit apartment a picture: so hushed was it, I could hear the cinders fall from the grate, the clock tick in its obscure corner; and I even fancied I could distinguish the click-click of the woman's knitting-needles" (337). But then one of the students in this dumb show begins to speak:
 When, therefore, a voice broke the strange stillness at last, it
 was audible enough to me. "Listen, Diana," said one of the absorbed
 students; "Franz and old Daniel are together in the night-time, and
 Franz is telling a dream from which he has wakened in
 terror--listen!" And in a low voice she read something, of which
 not one word was intelligible to me; for it was in an unknown
 tongue--neither French nor Latin. Whether it were Greek or German I
 could not tell. (337)


The juxtaposition of the "strange stillness" and a dream-world terror, the low-voiced reading that comes not only from the other side of the pane but also across the border of language, the lack of fit between inhabitants and abode ("A strange place was this humble kitchen for such occupants! Who were they? They could not be the daughters of the elderly person at the table; for she looked like a rustic, and they were all delicacy and cultivation" [336]), and finally the preternatural knowledge Jane has of them ("I had nowhere seen such faces as theirs; and yet, as I gazed on them, I seemed intimate with every lineament" [336-37]) prepare us for the eerie word that comes from the beyond. So, too, do the double commendation of the German line, its repetition, and the strange pains the narrator takes to tell us that she's breaking temporal sequence in order to give us the line which she then, at the time of the incident, had not understood. When Jane's narrative continues, it echoes the famous opening to Paul's chapter on love ("Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I have become sounding brass or a clanging cymbal" [I Cor. 13: 1]). The echo suggests that Jane's lack of understanding may have more than a linguistic cause:
 "That is strong," [the reader] said, when she had finished; "I
 relish it." The other girl, who had lifted her head to listen to
 her sister, repeated, while she gazed at the fire, a line of what
 had been read. At a later day, I knew the language and the book;
 therefore I will here quote the line: though, when I first heard
 it, it was only like a stroke on sounding brass to me--conveying no
 meaning: "Da trat hervor Einer, anzusehen wie die Sternen Nacht."
 "Good! Good!" she exclaimed, while her dark and deep eye sparkled.
 "There you have a dim and mighty archangel fitly set before you!
 The line is worth a hundred pages of fustian." (Vol. III. 2, p. 337)


In this complicated and elaborately remarked way, Schiller's The Robbers is set before us as an important part of Jane's first fascination with these two sisters, a moment combining relief to be so close to refuge, terror of wilderness and dream, and preternatural empathy between outsider and inhabitants.

Schiller is also present at an important moment between Jane and the sisters' brother, the moment when he asks her to give up German and learn Hindostanee with him. More than language is at stake. This is the first step toward St. John's claim on her as a fellow-worker who, for the sake of the Gospel, should take on the status if not the physical reality of wife on the mission field:
 One afternoon ... I got leave to stay at home, because I really had
 a cold. His sisters were gone to Morton in my stead: I sat reading
 Schiller: he, deciphering his crabbed Oriental scrolls. As I
 exchanged a translation for an exercise, I happened to look his
 way: there I found myself under the influence of the ever-watchful
 blue eye. How long it had been searching me through and through,
 and over and over, I cannot tell: so keen was it, and yet so cold,
 I felt for the moment superstitious--as if I were sitting in the
 room with something uncanny. (401-02)


After he convinces her to give over German for Hindostanee, she describes what sort of tutor she had: "By degrees, he acquired a certain influence over me that took away my liberty of mind: his praise and notice were more restraining than his indifference. I could no longer talk or laugh freely when he was by .... I tell under a freezing spell" (402). For the rest of the book, St. John will be associated with an icy, if dutiful, reason. In changing Jane's language study he threatens to put Schiller out of reach. But Schiller is also one of the resources for resisting St. John, his work warning against just this very domination of reason.

The conflict between reason and passion also informs the principle of contrast by which the novel's minor characters are drawn. Eliza and Georgianna Reed, Blanche and Mary Ingrain, Brocklehurst and Helen Burns, Diana and Mary Rivers, St. John and Rosamond Oliver--such pairs divide into quite stable categories of passion and reason, while the main characters journey between the categories. For example, after hearing Georgianna and Eliza harangue each other across Mrs. Reed's death bed, Jane delivers this judgment, remarkably similar to Schiller's description of the twin dangers of the French Revolution in his Letters" on an Aesthetic Education: "Feeling without judgment is a washy draught indeed; but judgment untempered by feeling is too bitter and husky a morsel for human deglutition" (239). While the principle of contrast had been exploited by English novelists since the time of Richardson, these categories share more with Schiller than with Bronte's predecessors in the tradition of the English novel.

So far we have described Bronte's references to Schiller, the interest she shares with him in the conflict of reason and passion, and a compositional principle that seems based on such conflict. Bronte might seem to repeat Schiller's performance, putting reason and passion into nearly equal conflict with each other so neither can dominate. But Bronte puts into play, has her characters perform, something new that alters Schiller's "play aesthetic" as well as the tradition of self-assertion. We shall use her own term, "sisterhood of the passions," to describe her addition to and correction of Schiller's play aesthetic. (11)

Though there are other more dramatic scenes of passion in the novel (Jane's Red Room scene, scenes with the mad Bertha, scenes of Jane's three days spent wandering in the coutryside after her precipitous departure from Thornfield), none has such depth as the scenes with female friends, especially in Parts I and III. These friendships, I shall argue, give Jane resources for self-assertion in relationship to Brocklehurst and St. John.

After Jane had been humiliated by Brocklehurst, made to stand on a stool for breaking her slate and made to endure everyone's gaze while the superintendent warned them of her wrong-doings, Jane begins her recovery in that evening's meeting with Helen and Miss Temple. Their meeting is framed in terms reminiscent of a communion service. The passage begins, "Having invited Helen and me to approach the table, and placed before each of us a cup of tea with one delicious but thin morsel of toast" (73) The formality of the language of invitation and approach, and the deliberateness ascribed to the sharing of food, recall the language of the Bible and of church order. When Helen and Jane leave, they receive a traditional blessing from their teacher and friend, "God bless you, my children!" (74).

This spare meal of tea and toast was followed by another, Miss Temple making up for the meager portions of toast brought up to them by cutting generous slices of a seed-cake she had hidden for such an occasion. "We feasted that evening," Jane says, switching from liturgical to classical register, "as on nectar and ambrosia" (73). But the food and drink were not as invigorating as the conversation that followed, a conversation that refigures the relationship of reason and passion for Jane. Jane herself has little to say but we follow her careful appraisal of both friends: "Miss Temple had always something of serenity in her air, of state in her mien, of refined propriety in her language, which precluded deviation into the ardent, the excited, the eager: something which chastened the pleasure of those who looked on her and listened to her, by a controlling sense of awe; and such was my feeling now" (73). This picture of reason, form, self-control in the service of others sustains Jane in her later trials. But so does the portrait of Helen's intellectual passion:
 The refreshing meal, the brilliant fire, the presence and kindness
 of her beloved instructress, or perhaps more than all these,
 something in her own unique mind, had roused her powers within
 her. They woke, they kindled: first, they glowed in the bright tint
 of her cheek, which till this hour I had never seen but pale and
 bloodless: they shone in the liquid lustre of her eyes, which had
 suddenly acquired a beauty more singular than that of Miss
 Temple's--a beauty neither of fine colour nor long eyelash, nor
 pencilled brow, but of meaning, of movement, of radiance. Then
 her soul sat on her lips, and language flowed, from what source I
 cannot tell: has a girl of fourteen a heart large enough, vigorous
 enough to hold the swelling spring of pure, full, fervid eloquence?
 (73-74)


This community, in which reason and passion both become enriched by the other, one leaning toward respect and the other toward wonder, provides the resources for Jane to be reconciled with the students and teachers at Lowood. Diana and Mary perform a similar function for Jane after her desperate flight from Thornfield. Their mediation suggests, as with Miss Temple and Helen, that community enables self-assertion and that self-assertion does not always oppose community, in fact, may not be meaningful without it. (12)

Though biographer Lyndall Gordon describes authors' and characters' self-assertion in psychological terms, it is important to notice how much Jane Eyre's pilgrimage of self-assertion refers to a public world and its institutions as well. Gordon writes, "Charlotte ... broaden[ed ideology] from the arena of public rights to the more difficult, hidden, and even taboo arena of private feeling--those spaces in the mind where, as Mill perceived, women were more insidiously and deeply enslaved than through more obvious restrictions to do with work, property, and the vote" (163). Bronte's refusal to let reason and passion separate from each other, however, also affected her discussion of religious duty, most noticeably in her commentary upon Eliza Reed and St. John. Social institutions such as the convent and missions do not escape the criticism leveled at Eliza and St. John either. Nor do other institutions: schools, high society, the life of the city, Rochester's mansion. A contemporary, Karl Marx, gave a truer description of Bronte's interests when he wrote that Bronte's "graphic and eloquent pages have issued to the world more political and social truths than have been uttered by all the professional politicians, publicists and moralists put together." (13) In her preface to the second edition of the novel, Bronto praises Thackeray by comparing his work to the social conscience of the Old Testament prophets. She clearly counts herself as part of that "working corps" which Thackeray leads. "I regard him as the first social regenerator of the day," she writes, "as the very master of that working corps who would restore to rectitude the warped system of things" (4, emphasis added). Both Bronte and Marx would have rejected Gordon's contrast of the "arena of public rights" and the "arena of private feeling," especially as it narrows the scope of Bronte's interest to the arena of private feeling. We trivialize passion by making it only a private affair.

I have argued that Bronte furthers Schiller's insight that reason and passion, separately, were insufficient means of asserting oneself. We have seen that Bronte socializes Schiller's "play aesthetic" through the importance given to female friendships, where both reason and passion seem to come under the rule of care. And we have seen that self-assertion, in Charlotte Bronte, concerns both public life and private feeling. Bronte's novel counters the two-tier division within human being that Howe describes as the nineteenth-century ideal for character on both sides of the Atlantic. For Bronte, the rational is not always wise as well as consistent, nor the passionate a disturbance always verging on license. (14) She refuses the suspicions of Brocklehurst and St. John as well as the deceits of Rochester. Instead, good or bad cuts across both reason and passion. Accepting responsibility for a properly balanced character, then, means something different from subordinating passion to rationality. Though this question had already been put into play by Schiller, Bronte chooses to follow it out not in universalizing psychological terms but in the social and historical lives of her characters.

"The greatest exposition of the philosophy of the American Constitution, The Federalist Papers of 1787," Howe writes, "explains the functioning of the proposed institutions of government in terms of tnaintaining the supremacy of reason over passion, or wisdom and virtue over licentiousness" (24). Against such a reining in of passion by reason, Bronte's "sisterhood of the passions" suggests that passion be tempered and chastened within the constraints of love for one's neighbor, as should reason. (15) Some may consider it good, as Howe does, that Reformed Christianity and Lockean liberalism grew to share the same ideal of character development. They may even struggle to conserve that same tradition today. Others will consider that merger unfortunate, as I do, and seek from within that tradition an occasion for disentanglement, revision, and revitalization. To both of us Bronte's alternative story gives rich occasion to think through the tradition of self-assertion--its patterns, images, and beliefs--in the Modern world. In Bronte, self-assertion is related to the productive tension and trustworthy co-working of reason and passion under the enabling constraints of the love of one's neighbor. If such changes in the relation of reason and passion exist at the level of style and characterization in Jane Eyre, we should expect to see their influence at the level of genre as well. And though we can only examine this aspect of the novel briefly here, we find that even at this generic level, Jane Eyre foregrounds and re-configures the resources it finds in a variety of genres.

There are at least three discernible models or genres at work in Bronte's novel: the bildungsroman, religious allegory, and Gothic romance. All three undergo significant change in this novel. (16) As with her use of fairy tales and nursery rhymes and Scriptures and local histories, so with the main genres through which she develops her narrative. As with her use of these three main genres, so too with her use of fairy tales and nursery rhymes and Scriptures and local histories: Bronte creates a mosaic, the heat of her imagination not melting but fitting to each other the disparate elements at her command. Jane Eyre also mimes the language of Wollstonecralk's political treatise, the church's catechism, popular ballads. These elements retain a relative autonomy in Bronte's method of constructing her character's pilgrimage of self-assertion. The opposition between self-assertion and tradition described by Harold Bloom and others seems out of step with what we find in Bronte's work. Though religion and tradition and society are capable of repressing an unhappy orphan in a well-to-do family, they also have elements that, sifted passionately and critically, give voice and direction to such discordant elements as Jane calls herself (16). The construction of a mosaic requires great confidence in a structure which can both show and use differences to some larger end. in this novel that structure seems to be the structure of care, first seen in the relationships of female friends. They are not so much outside of society as an alternative within it. Neither the one outside the law (Rochester) nor the strong-willed missionary (St. John) finally establishes as effective a self-assertion as the orphan-governess. She finds an alternative society within society where she can be taught and nurtured, and where she in turn can teach and nurture others. Perhaps the truth of Bronte's novel is that there is no self-assertion outside of community. We are so used to thinking about self-assertion as opposing tradition, religion, and society that Bronte's mosaic of references to earlier traditions and texts catches our usual thought about self-assertion off guard.

RESISTANCE has become a major theme in the last quarter of a century: resistance to nationalism, resistance to the notion of an essential or stable self, resistance to theory. Our thinking about tradition enters such a context, and so it seems natural to ask how to resist the inertia of tradition's forward roll. It seems less natural to ask how we use a tradition's resources or stand open to its questions. In the modern world, as we have seen, self-assertion has regularly been construed as opposed to tradition. But our reading of Jane Eyre suggests that this opposition is more complicated than we usually imagine. First, the self-assertion which can resist or reshape tradition depends upon community. Second, effective self-assertion requires discovery of those resources within the tradition that let us resist it, or let us resist those parts of it which have taken a harmful turn. The need for community and the recognition of internal resources for change--both these findings complicate our usual notion that self-assertion stands in natural opposition to tradition. The Modern images of the breaking of idols or of experience writing on a blank slate have been challenged by a variety of new images that suggest the reshaping of a tradition: images of the palinode, palimpsest, graft, and so forth. Perhaps with traditions as with individual experience there is always a negative element that calls our patterns, images, and beliefs into question. As Hans-Georg Gadamer learned from Bacon, "Every experience worthy of the name thwarts an expectation" (356). Tradition's relationship to experience, either as corrective or as itself capable of correction, has gotten figured different ways in our recent past.

As we saw in section one, social theorist Edward Shils and historian David Gross have emphasized tradition as resource. In their view, tradition can provide a necessary resistance to the aggressive demands of a capitalist economy and the pervasive influence of a media-sophisticated state. Shils and Gross regard tradition as definite or stable enough to be capable of representation or, better, counter-representation. It can help us resist the machinations of capitalist greed and subliminal politics. Gerald Bruns, on the other hand, emphasizes the fluid, excessive character of tradition. In "What Is Tradition?" Bruns argues that in critical theory tradition "is more likely to resemble satire than allegory, unmasking of the present rather than translation of the past" (204). While allegory, according to Bruns, "converts everything into itself and fixes every alien or random particle so as to rescue it from its randomness or preserve it against its own contingency" (203), satire provides a counterallegory, not the persistence but "the disruption of the same by that which cannot be repressed or subsumed into a familiar category" (201). In Bruns's argument, traditions are less definite or stable than Shils and Gross suppose, but they still can be used to put into question, or satirize, the present.

Despite Bruns's helpful emphasis on "the unmasking of the present rather than translation of the past," his term do not encompass what we have discovered in Jane Eyre. Both allegory and satire focus, for example. on the axis of rationality/irrationality. Neither broadens the discussion of tradition to inchide the non-rational, such as passion or pleasure or fear, or to include practices such as work or demonstrations. (17) Further, neither term addresses the question of community. Satire remains more of a parasite (sometimes a necessary and effective parasite) than a communal alternative. Yet our study of Jane Eyre showed us the importance both of passion and of community in establishing, but especially in redirecting, a tradition.

Bronte's compositional strategy suggests another kind of comparison to tradition besides palinode or palimpsest or even satire. A more ,just comparision may be architectural, like the images for memory (such as chamber, storehouse, cell, ark, chest, shrine) catalogued and analyzed by Mary Carruthers in TDe Book of Memory. Like memory, tradition may be an ethical construction for which we have responsibility, never an organic whole but a mosaic of patterns, images, and beliefs that provide a link between knowledge and action. We dont so much observe this mosaic from the outside as find our place within it, its elements already pieced together but still separable and capable of being re-shaped through passion and critical analysis. As Carruthers makes clear, memory is not only for inventory but also for invention. (18) The same holds true, I would argue, for tradition.

In this essay my desire to understand the relationship of self-assertion to tradition, and especially to understand Bronte's challenge to a modern tradition of self-assertion, met my need to disrupt nay Reformed tradition's commerce with Lockean and classical republican notions of the self. (19) In that, I believe misguided notion of the self, Aeneas is our model: his sense of duty battling down his passions so that reason can point without disturbance to a new destiny. (20) Reversing the order of this domination makes the same error from the other side, as Virgil's Dido should make clear. Bronte's novel, even more than Schiller's aesthetic. helps us reposition reason and passion side by side, rather than up and down. Their proper subordination is not to each other but to some larger goal. This begins to look like an Augustinian view. altered but still available within the modern tradition, that reason and passion both refer to God (or to some rival good). BrontE's novel suggests that the reference of reason and passion to some larger goal is not grounded in psychology alone, or even primarily, but also in community, and that reason and passion already find resources for change within that mosaic of patterns, images and beliefs about practice that we call tradition.

Notes

(1) On the relationship of community to memory and hope, see Josiah Royce's chapters on "The Community and the Time-Process" and "The Body and the Members," especially 248-49, 257-58, 260, and 266. Royce summarizes his argument as follows: "A community constituted by the fact that each of its members accepts as part of his own individual life and self the same past events that each of his fellow-members accepts, may be called a community of memory.... A community constituted by the fact that each of its members accepts, as part of his own individual life and self, the same expected future events that each of his fellows accepts, may be called a community of expectation, or, upon occasion, a community of hope" (248).

(2) See Herbert Lindenberger's argument for "early modern" and "middle modern," as used throughout this essay, rather than "Renaissance," "Enlightenment," "Romanticism," and other such period terms.

(3) I am thinking especially of the aquatint by James Barry entitled The Phoenix or the Resurrection of Freedom, in which Liberty leaves England for the new utopian world of agriculture, industry, and the arts; but also see the frontispiece from Blake's America a Prophecy. Illustrations and discussions of both can be found in William Wordsworth and the Age of English Romanticism, pp. 3-4, 200.

(4) Christopher Hill has written individual works on both Milton and Bunyan as well as essays on their time period collected in Writing and Revolution in Seventeenth-Century England.

(5) See John Freccero's essay "The Neutral Angels" for a winning explication of Dante's judgment of those in the porch of hell.

(6) See William Wordsworth and the Age of English Romanticism, pp. 60-62 and 171-74, on choice of title and influence of poem. Wordsworth's assertion is made stronger by the vow that precedes it in "The Rainbow":
 So was it when my life began,
 So is it now I am a man,
 So be it when I shall grow old,
 or let me die.


(7) See Derrida's Specters for an opposite perspective. Derrida writes, "The specter weighs [pese], it thinks [pense], it intensifies and condenses itself within the very inside of life, within the most living life, the most singular (or, if one prefers, individual) life. The latter therefore no longer has and must no longer have, insofar as it is living, a pure identity to itself or any assured inside" (109). But it seems to me that in The Problem of Christianity Josiah Royce already anticipated Derrida's remarks, writing "Each one of us knows that he just now, at this instant, cannot find more than a mere fragment of himself present. The self comes down to us from its own past. It needs and is a history" (244).

(8) See Chapters 6-8 for a description of the political implications of fragmentation, refunctioning, or marginalization, the three categories of change that Gross believes cancel or co-opt tradition.

(9) The rhythm and the lack of attribution for this phrase help pull it from its immediate speech context toward Lamentations 1:12, "Is it nothing to you, all ye that pass by? Behold and see if there be any sorrow like unto my sorrow." This passage was made famous by a Messiah aria and before that had served as the refrain ("Was ever grief like mine?") for each of the sixty three verses of George Herbert's "The Sacrifice." In Bronte's mid-nineteenth century, passion could refer to suffering as well as to desire, and of course the second chapter is as much about Jane's suffering as it is about her desire.

(10) In his Introduction to the recent facsimile reprint of Alexander Tytler's 1792 translation of Schiller's The Robbers, Jonathan Wordsworth quotes William Hazlitt's response to the play in 1820: "It struck me like a blow.... Five and twenty years have elapsed since I first read the translation ... but they have not blotted the impression from my mind." After tracing the influence of Tytler's translation on William Wordsworth and Coleridge, Wordsworth continues, "Tytler must in fact have been read by most, if not all, the major Romantics.... No other play of the period had a comparable impact, or exerted a comparable influence." Wordsworth also writes that De Quincy "singles out Schiller as the greatest of German poets" (i) in an Encyclopedia Britannica article of 1840.

(11) In a letter to W.S. Williams, Bronte wrote about Jane Austen, "The passions are perfectly unknown to her; she rejects even a speaking acquaintance with that stormy sisterhoocf' (Shorter 398--emphasis added).

(12) Royce argues that the self is inseparable from others: "[I]n case we are once challenged to explain who we are, none of us find it easy to define the precise boundaries of the individual self, or to tell wherein it differs from the rest of the world, and, in particular, from the selves of other men" (236). On the other hand, the variety of individual selves is not suppressed but celebrated in community: "The present variety of the selves who are the members of the spiritual body so defined, is not hereby either annulled or slighted" (252). The reincorporation of Jane into community in Book One follows the outlines of religious ritual. After hearing Jane's story, Miss Temple sends away for a corroborating account. Once she gets it, she reintroduces Jane to the community, whose members greet her with a handshake and a kiss.

(13) The English Middle Class 184, qtd. in Raymond Williams, Marxism & Literature 201. Marx directed the same praise to Dickens, Thackeray, and Gaskell.

(14) See Augustine, City of God IX. 5, 349, for an important explication of the ancient Stoic notion of passion as "disturbance," a notion which St. John seems to share in Part III of Bronte's novel. Augustine argues against the Stoics that the negative or positive value of disturbance can not be determined apart from its cause.

(15) Calvin Seerveld provides this helpful description: "BrontE might help us revitalize the Christian conception of life, correcting Rationalistic chauvinism with compassionate sisterhood, having feelings tempered and chastened by neighbor-love rather than reined in by Reason" (Letter, 19 February 1997).

(16) For an analysis of these changes, please see the forthcoming volume Tradition and Literary Study, edited by Donald G. Marshall (Rowman and Littlefield, 2005).

(17) I have in mind Charles Taylor's example of a demonstration to clarify what he means by the term "social imaginary" (26-29). Taylor looked for a different term than "social theory" because "the way ordinary people 'imagine' their social surroundings ... is often not expressed in theoretical terms, but is carried in images, stories, and legends." Further, theory is often the possession of a small elite while the social imaginary "is that common understanding that makes possible common practices and a widely shared sense of legitimacy" (23). Taylor's sense of the social imaginary conveys the importance of practices and of the non-rational (as opposed to the irrational) in our understanding of the world.

(18) For a fuller description of Carruther's work, see Vander Weele, "The Contest of Memory in 'Tintern Abbey,'" especially 20-22. In coming to the image of tradition as mosaic in Bronte's writing, I am also reminded of the importance to Dante's composition of the Paradiso of the mosaics at Ravenna. See Jeffrey Schnapp, The Transformation of History at the Center of Dante's Paradiso.

(19) See Howe, p. 5, above.

(20) For the understudied influence of Aeneas on American character, see John Shields, The American Aeneas. For the contrast between the role of reason and desire in Vergil in Augustine, see Sarah Spense, Rhetorics of Reason and Desire.

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