Thursday, April 3, 2014

Reading Period 29: April 2-8: The Brontës


Several weeks ago when we had a snow day at co-op, I assigned you to read the first chapter of these three books by the Brontë sisters. We didn't get a chance to talk about them, but I'd like to do that now.

Agnes Grey (Chapters 1&2):

Wuthering Heights (Chapters 1&2):

Jane Eyre (Chapters 1&2):


Art Connection:

Many of Emily Bronte's poems were about fictional characters in a world she created with her sister Anne. The world was called Gondal and it an island in the South Pacific. There was another island, Angria, imagined and populated by the older siblings, Charlotte and Brandall. Read about these fictional worlds here, before you begin your project. Then, from this page of poetry by Emily Bronte, choose one to illustrate. Make sure it is a Gondal poem by checking against the list on the Wikipedia page. If you'd like to illustrate a different one from the Wikipedia links, that's fine too.

History Connection:

Charlotte Bronte was the only one in her family to NOT die of tuberculosis, and yet it was still listed as the cause of death on her death certificate. Tuberculosis hit this literary family hard, killing ruthlessly and depriving the world of many years of these women's lives that could have been spent writing great books. Write a short compare/contrast paper using the A12 B12 or the 1AB 2AB structure to compare and contrast tuberculosis treatment and prevention in the Brontes lifetime with our situation now.

Writing Connection:

Read the first chapter of Jane Eyre, where the narrator describes her suffering torments at the hands of John Reed, a young bully. Write a scene of at least 250 words in which you recall a time in your childhood when you felt excluded, bullied, outcast, or suffered through an unfair situation. Make sure you show the scene with action and dialogue, rather than telling the story in summary. If you can't think of any time in your own life when you felt bullied or unfairly dealt with, you can exaggerate. 


Take a look at this web site from The Bronte Society and the Bronte Parsonage Museum. Following the links at the left will give you all the information you need to complete this quiz. 

1. How was the economy of Haworth village changing when the Bronte sisters lived there?
2. What was the average age of death in Haworth village? 
3. What was the only viable career readily available to the girls?
4. What business venture did they unsuccessfully try to pursue at the parsonage?
5. To what European city did Charlotte and Emily travel, to improve their education?
6. What was their first attempt at publishing, which failed? How many copies sold?
7. What was their next attempt at publishing, which succeeded?
8. What was Charlotte Bronte's husband's name?
9. List the 6 Bronte children in the order they were born, then list them in the order they died. 
10. The Yorkshire moors were a very important setting for the Brontes' fiction. Do a Google Image search on "yorkshire moors" and have a look at the images that come up. What is a moor, according to the dictionary? Now, characterize the photos you see of Yorkshire moors. What strikes you about these photos?

BONUS! To the right you see a famous painting of the three Bronte sisters. Who is the other figure in the painting, the one who looks like he's being beamed up to the Enterprise in a golden shaft of light? Why does he look like that in this painting? 

NOTE: We will be doing another vocabulary challenge in class! Please review your Vocabulary lists 1 and 2 (available at the "Quizbowl" link above) so we can look back on the literary terms we have learned. 

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