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The Art of Comparison: Remarriage in Anne Brontë's "The Tenant of Wildfell Hall"

Nicole A. Diederich
Rocky Mountain Review of Language and Literature
Vol. 57, No. 2 (2003), pp. 25-41
DOI: 10.2307/1348391
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1348391
Page Count: 17
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Abstract

This article focuses on two interconnected aspects of Anne Brontë's social criticism in "The Tenant of Wildfell Hall": Helen's artistic talent and her remarriage. How does a woman's definition of herself as an artist complicate her other social roles? What do the comparisons between a first and second husband suggest about the domestic "ideal?" Does a remarriage allow for more or less opportunity for an artistic woman? Brontë answers these questions by contextualizing Helen's second marriage with her first. Helen's alternating freedom to paint and her inability to do so advances Brontë's social criticism.

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