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Mindreading matters: A study of Jane Eyre and Emma, in search of empathic response in the narrative, through theory of mind, for the purpose of scaffolding
Linnaeus University, Faculty of Arts and Humanities, Department of Languages.
2017 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

The aim of this study is to use a cognitive approach to analyse two novels that are considered to be part of the British literary canon: Jane Eyre (1847) by Charlotte Brontë and Emma (1816) by Jane Austen. The study aims to utilise close reading and thematic analysis of human emotion. The themes are as follows: the fear of losing a loved one, morals and values in relation to love and marriage, and feelings of disgust, aversion, antipathy and shame. Quotations from each novel are analysed with the theoretical framework of “theory of mind” and placed within the emotional frame of the thematic analysis. The aim of this is to provide possible scaffolding for learners of English as a foreign language, in an attempt to make canonised literature more easily accessible. Scaffolding may be needed for Swedish EFL learners to overcome the language barrier presented in literature from the 19th century. Further benefits of emotional scaffolding conform to requests of the Swedish Agency of Education and the Curriculum’s demands that education be conducted in such a way as to promote empathy, compassion and understanding for fellow humans.

The analysis shows that strong emotional connection in the novels provide ample opportunity to analyse readers’ possible empathetic response, thus resulting in the opportunity for these responses to serve as scaffolding as well as an opportunity to improve empathetic ability. 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2017. , p. 63
Keywords [en]
Canonised literature, classic literature, EFL, empathy, scaffolding, upper secondary school, theory of mind
National Category
Languages and Literature
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:lnu:diva-65908OAI: oai:DiVA.org:lnu-65908DiVA, id: diva2:1116823
Subject / course
English
Educational program
Teacher Education Programme for Upper Secondary School, 300/330 credits
Supervisors
Examiners
Available from: 2017-09-15 Created: 2017-06-27 Last updated: 2017-09-15Bibliographically approved

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CiteExportLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link
Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • harvard1
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
  • text
  • asciidoc
  • rtf