Tuesday, March 11, 2014

"From the Young Men On" The Lives and Impact of the Bronte Women

I know this is a story blog but it is mine so I am aloud to break the rules! ;) So here is a paper I wrote for class. I promise it is not to boring!

Experiences affect people’s writing. Anne, Emily, and Charlotte Bronte were three sisters who became famous writers. Underneath the stories they wrote, there was a real story, the Bronte’s story. Anne Bronte, the youngest sister, wrote poetry as well as two novels. The middle sister, Emily Bronte, expressed her love of nature in her poetry, and wrote the strangest love story of her time. Charlotte Bronte was the oldest and led the way for her sisters through publishing two novels of her own. Without one another and their experiences, the Bronte sisters would not have changed the history of literature as they did. 

The youngest of the Bronte sisters, Anne Bronte, was a pretty, pious poet and a unique novelist. She was the last Bronte sister to come into the world, born on January 17, 1820. She could not remember her mother, who died September 15, 1821. In 1825, when Anne was only five, her oldest sister, Maria, died from mistreatment at a boarding school. Not long after that, the next oldest, Elizabeth, also died. This left Charlotte, Emily,  Anne, and their brother Branwell. Anne resembled Maria in spirit. Like Maria, she focused on the things of heaven. Anne had golden curls and was everyone’s favorite, according to her siblings. As children, the Brontes first expressed their remarkable creativity as they played with toy soldiers that they called “The Young Men.” From that point on, their imagination took off. Many years later, Anne, Emily, and Charlotte tried to publish a book of poetry using pen names since, in that time, only men wrote books about nature and relationships. In her poetry, Anne wrote poems about God and heaven. A poetry book, however, would not pay the bills, so Anne, like Charlotte, was forced to work as a governess. This tore Anne from her writing and her beautiful home. Anne hated being a governess. She felt like she was wasting her time and talents when she would rather have been writing. Anne, like her sisters, got impatient and depressed  when separated from her pen and paper. Somehow, Anne eventually found time to write two books, Agnes Grey and The Tenant of Wildfell Hall. Both stories had practical lessons in them about daily decisions. Anne died from consumption before her true identity, that of  a pretty and talented novelist was known. Today, the religious, golden-haired girl known as Anne Bronte is firmly established as a significant author. 

Unlike her two surviving sisters, Emily Bronte was always a little distant from reality and lived in a complete world of nature and imagination, but readers have enjoyed her writing for years. Emily, along with her sister Anne, wrote stories for the toy soldiers and made up tales about them after the two woman were adults. Emily did not become a famous author during her lifetime. Emily preferred to remain at home, living as something of a recluse, but she absolutely loved nature and the out-of-doors. Her shyness gave her an unfriendly reputation but Charlotte knew better. Nevertheless, even Charlotte and Anne marveled at their strange sister. In the middle of her duties, Emily would often mark things in her notebook. One day, Charlotte found the notebook in a drawer full of beautiful poetry. When Emily found out what had happened the she was furious, but Charlotte encouraged Emily to go ahead and publish the poems. In Emily Charlotte recognized Emily as a talented poet. Afterwards, Emily did publish many poems, as well as her famous novel Wuthering Heights. The novel described a love story unlike any love story readers had ever read before. The book was tragic and brutal but had a relatively happy ending. Emily Bronte was the first of her sisters to die, but she fought illness as hard as she could.  Every day, she left her bed to work around the house without complaint. She was only 30 years old when she died.Thus did, Emily slip away, to the great grief of her remaining sisters, leaving her amazing poetry and her unforgettable novel behind to be read and enjoyed by countless readers to this day. 
Charlotte, the eldest was the leader of The surviving Bronte sisters. With great courage and determination she led the way to fame. Like Anne, Charlotte was a governess, but she tried to find joy in the miserable job. She had seen both of her older sisters slowly weaken and die. Charlotte had attended the same boarding school and had watched and endured the same things her sisters had. Charlotte fought spouts of depression her entire life. Nevertheless, Charlotte loved to learn. She ate up books, hungry for every word. Unlike her shy sister Emily, Charlotte enjoyed meeting new people and visiting new places. She encouraged her sisters to write. Charlotte’s first novel was Jane Eyre, published in 1847. Writing was something Charlotte took comfort in. Jane Eyre was extremely successful from the moment it was published. Readers were shocked by the tragedies in the novel, but the story was particularly remarkable because its heroine was a normal, plain, governess, just like Charlotte. Woman understood Jane in the book. Charlotte Bronte, like her character Jane Eyre, had some romance of her own. Charlotte twice in her life fell in love with a man who could not love her back. She knew what romantic tragedy was. The hardest trial for her was watching Anne and Emily both sicken and die and leave her behind in the world. Charlotte missed Emily the most because Anne seemed already part of heaven but not Emily. What did Charlotte do with her grief? She got a pen and paper and poured her sorrow, joy, and memories into a new novel, Shirley. Eventually, Charlotte married a minister who loved her devoutly, and they shared a happy life until, many years later she fell ill and finally died on March 31, 1855. Charlotte’s writing was not forgotten, however, but has been read, reread, and enjoyed by countless readers.
Every night, the Bronte girls had shared t, sorrows, and trials, that suffering added strength and color to their writing.  Anne was a pious writer. Emily expressed nature in her writing. Charlotte wrote about a different and even more complicated kind of nature. All of them, however, were similar in one way: they wrote because they loved to write, not because they wanted to be wealthy or famous or please others. The girls supported one another. From the early days of their toy soldiers, “The Young Men”, and everyday after, their imagination soared. They stuck together until death separated them. Death might have taken everything about the Bronte’s lives and world away if their books had not been left behind. Their writing endures because it was shaped from real life experiences.  Together, their vivid works of fiction are drawn from a true story, the Bronte’s story.    


Kenyon, Karen, The Bronte Family. 2003 Minneapolis, MN: A Lerner Publications Company

Reef, Catherine, The Bronte Sisters. 2012 Boston, New York: Clarion Books

Sherry, Norman, Charlotte and Emily Bronte . 1970 New York, New York: Arco Publishing Company

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