In the life of Charlotte Bronte(1857), the first and the most celebrated biography of novelist
Charlotte Bronte, Elizabeth Gaskell promoted the long-persisting romantic view of Bronte as
having no connection with the rest of English society at a time when industrialization was
causing much turbulence, but as having sprung naturally, like so much purple heather, out of
the English countryside. Gaskell also portrayed Bronte as irreproachably proper, incapable of
“unladylike” feelings or dangerous views; this was at variance with the subversive spirit
Matthew Arnold accurately discerned, albeit with distance, deep within Bronte’ s fiction. While correcting many of Gaskell‘s errors and omissions at last, even Winifred Gerin’ s Charlotte Bronte: The Evolution of Genius(1967) failed to discard Gaskell’ s viewpoint. Feminist have introduced new interpretations of Bronte’ s life, but it is primarily Juliet Barker who takes into account the larger world that impinged on that life-- the changing England in which old divisions of class and gender were under pressure.
1. The primary purpose of the passage is to
A. consider similarities in several studies of Charlotte Bronte’ s life
B. defend a particular view of Charlotte Bronte’ life
C. discuss a change in perspective on Charlotte Bronte’ s life
D. depict the social environment in which Charlotte Bronte lived
E. portray Charlotte Bronte as an early feminist writer


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