[Adapted from Victorian Types, Victorian Shadows: Biblical Typology in Victorian Literature, Art, and Thought, 1980. Full text]
Applications of orthodox types to judge oneself sternly, such as Jane Eyre makes, are found more often in spiritual autobiographies and sermons than in novels, and the fact that Jane Eyre takes the form of an autobiography explains in part how such types can there be used so effectively. Rochesteršs misapplication of scriptural texts exemplifies a far more common use in fiction of prefigurative symbolism. A third use of types for purposes of characterization is the purely mimetic one by which their appearance in dialogue identifies someone as belonging to a particular Church party or dissenting sect.
Print version published 1980; web version 1998