In the first chapter of Anne Brontë’s The Tenant of Wildfell Hall, Gilbert Markham invites his reader to join him as he attempts to recall the past. Because Gilbert uses the journal of another to supplement his own memories, the novel's frame narrative structure becomes saturated with complex memory-based issues and problems. Thus, the complicated frame narrative provides fertile ground for exploring the novel through memory. In studying the frame narrative, scholars have typically devoted their criticism to Gilbert and how he shapes the frame. Few scholars afford the other primary narrator of the novel, Helen, any power in shaping that frame. However, both Gilbert's and Helen's narratives exist separately yet function codependently. Using recent studies in memory as well as Derridean and Foucaultian archive theory as a lens, I will explore how Tenant presents an anarchic narrative structure that simultaneously gives its own semblance of power and order without assigning complete narrative power to one person or to one gender.
College and Department
BYU ScholarsArchive Citation
Fullmer, Alyson June, "The Archon(s) of Wildfell Hall: Memory and the Frame Narrative in Anne Brontë’s The Tenant of Wildfell Hall" (2016). Theses and Dissertations. 5993.
Anne Brontë, The Tenant of Wildfell Hall, memory, archive, frame narrative, gender politics, Derrida, Foucault, archon, systems of enunciability, discourse