Charlotte Bronte¨ and George Eliot create the figure of the reading woman whose readings give guidance to implied readers in Shirley and The Mill on the Floss. Caroline Helstone, Shirley Keeldar and Maggie Tulliver are the figures whose critical readings both of literary conventions and social norms are supported by the authors. When they give up living up to their readings due to the burdens of womanhood, however, the authors keep some distance from them and use the distance to impel their implied readers to face the burdens which our world imposes upon the resisting figures. Caroline`s reading of Coriolanus to educate her lover, Robert Moore, to be a benevolent employer is supported by the authorial voice and by the experiences of Robert in the course of the novel. While Caroline`s appropriative reading of Coriolanus suggests the possibility for a domestic woman to educate a mercantile man, however, the fact that she fails to reform her lover through the reading reveals her powerlessness in the world of male-centered conflicts between labor and management. Her reading of "La Jeune Captive" also confirms that she is no more than a sexually attractive object before the male gaze of Robert Moore. Hence Charlotte Bronte¨ uses Caroline`s readings as a way to establish her as a connection between the two themes of the novel--questions of class and gender. Shirley`s critical readings of images of women reveal Charlotte )Bronte¨`s subversive readings of them; particularly Shirley`s critique of Milton`s Eve reveals Bronte¨`s courageous critique of the literary patriarch. While Shirley`s own creation of Eve in front of Caroline is used as a visionary recreation of the first woman, however, her creation of Eva in "La Premie｀re Femme Savante" which she has written for her tutor and lover, Louis Moore, is used as a way to reveal how even an exceptional woman like Shirley cannot but succumb to conventional images of women. Maggie`s subversive reading of The History of the Devil shows her quest for a new way to overcome the dichotomy of images of good and bad women Her subsequent way of life, however, shows difficulties both in overcoming the dichotomy and in having her own way of reading. Her reading of Thomas a｀ Kempis shows how a woman with a resistant spirit becomes an obedient lady-like woman through reading: she accepts his doctrine of self-renunciation and applies it to educate herself in femininity. Her reading of Corinne is used not only to show her limitation in reading the ending of the novel but also to suggest George Fliot`s way to overcome such a limitation as a reader. Though Maggie`s rejection to read the ending is based on her right guess that the novel will end according to the dichotomy of good and evil women, it is presented as resignation rather than as resistance. George Eliot, however, resists the dichotomy of the ending by placing Maggie in a situation similar to that in which Stae¨l has placed Corinne and making the conventional ending read implausibly.