Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte Research Paper
Jane Eyre was written by a famous English writer, Charlotte Bronte in 1847. The novel revolves around a woman named Jane Eyre and is more of an autobiography of the protagonist. Charlotte Bronte narrates the life of Jane Eyre from her childhood to adulthood and writes a detailed account of her whole life and the events that take place in it.
The novel has 38 chapters and Bronte narrates the five important stages of Jane’s life starting from her childhood at Gateshead to her reunion with her lover, Mr. Rochester. Since the novel covers most part of the life of Jane Eyre, the reader witnesses the growth of the character and the gradual change in personality. The paper will discuss the three personality traits of the main character, Jane Eyre.
Autonomous and Resistant to Abuse
The reader knows that Jane Eyre would grow up to be a self sufficient and independent woman because she shows these traits from the very beginning. Jane Eyre appears to have great self esteem even though she is an orphan and has a lot of negative energy and criticism around her in the shape of her aunt and cousins.
It is clear that Jane’s aunt despises Jane and leaves no opportunity to abuse her or make her feel worthless. Her cousins are no better and are always troubling her. Even though Jane is defenseless and lone in front of her aunt and cousins, she does not give in to the abuse. She rises above the cruelty and voices her opinion when she calls her cousin a “wicked and cruel boy!” and says “You are like a murderer – you are like a slave-driver – you are like the Roman emperors!”.
Jane Eyre is independent from the very beginning of the novel and does not hesitate to say what is on her mind.
Freedom and Equality
An orphan child who does not receive much affection in the early years of life usually grows up to be rather timid and has a sense of inequality. However, Jane, even after having an abusive and affectionless childhood demands equality and freedom as an adult. She does not hesitate to fall in love with a man who is of a much higher status, Mr. Rochester.
She demands from him equal respect and is not willing to give up her freedom at any cost which is apparent when she refuses to be with Mr. Rochester and says “Do you think because I am poor, obscure, plain, and little, I am soulless and heartless?…
I have as much soul as you, — and full as much heart!…it is my spirit that addresses your spirit; just as if both has passed through the grave, and we stood at God’s feet, equal, — as we are!”(Bronte 2008, 291). These lines reflect her desire for equality and freedom in society.
Genuine and Loving
Even though Jane Eyre has been through a lot of abuse and troubles in her life and has always had trouble relating to people, her heart is still warm and her affection for people is genuine.
The hard realities of her life and miserable life experiences fail to fill her heart with hatred and she is still able to fall in love with Mr. Rochester. The purity of her love for him is evident in the end when she reunites with Mr. Rochester even after finding out about his condition.
Bronte, Charlotte. Jane Eyre. Forgotten Books, 2008.
The Literature Network. “Charlotte Bronte.” The Literature Network. http://www.online-literature.com/brontec/ .
- The Literature Network. “Charlotte Bronte.” The Literature Network.
- Bronte, Charlotte. Jane Eyre. Forgotten Books, 2008., p.9.
- , p.291.
A Hint of Things to Come: Summary and Analysis of Chapter 25 of Jane Eyre Analytical Essay
Each chapter in Jane Eyre, the novel written by Charlotte Bronte, performs the function of a significant brick the collection of which introduces the path that leads to the new old world of gender inequalities, duties, and feelings which could not be neglected.
The peculiar feature of the 25th chapter of the novel chosen for the analysis is the author’s intention to make it as emotional as possible. In a variety of the events which happen to Jane within a short period of time, Jane cannot focus on the true facts and perceive the reality as it is.
This is why it is necessary to provide the character with the hints which will show her the right way and allow to enjoy her existence. Jane Eyre’s 25th chapter is one of the most emotional periods in Jane’s life due to the necessity to interpret several symbols in her dreams and to realize which changes are approaching because of the marriage with such a person as Mr. Rochester.
At the beginning of the article, the reader gets to know that several days are left until the wedding between Jane and Mr. Rochester takes place. Jane is all about to see her future husband who had to leave the house recently. In order to occupy herself, Jane makes a decision to go for a walk and observe the chestnut tree.
With the help of such walk, the author underlines that something mysterious and unknown to Jane is waiting for her and she has to find more powers to discover the truth. Still, the arrival of Mr. Rochester deprives her of the possibility to plunge into the details of the house as well as the events happened before Jane’s arrival.
The night before Rochester’s arrival, Jane sees two strange dreams about her wedding, Mr. Rochester, and the baby. It seems like the author wants to warn the character as well as the reader that something important should happen soon, still, not all characters are ready to understand the events, this is why such warnings and symbols come while Jane’s is sleeping.
The image of a child crying in Jane’s arms becomes of crucial importance for Jane. She has to carry a baby and go far from Mr. Rochester as the baby wants it, still, the child is too heavy that makes Jane drops him. Such outcome of the dream makes Jane awake and be scared.
In order to find some explanations, Jane asks questions to Mr. Rochester, still, he continues keeping secrets admitting that these dreams may be connected to woman, Grace Poole. The point is that Mr. Rochester is not eager to give more names. It is clear that he has more to tell, still, something prevents him against doing this.
Such attitude to the dreams as well as to Jane’s interests is considered to be the main shift in the story. The characters have been already warned that something had to happen, and the result of such inabilities to talk directly was the conclusion of Mr. Rochester to tell Jane the truth after 1 year and 1 day will pass after their wedding. The deadlines prove that time is what Mr. Rochester actually needs and what Jane cannot understand.
In general, the main function of the chapter is to inform the reader as well as the characters about the mystery connected to Mr. Rochester. The time to disclose the truth is coming, and the characters are not able to hide secrets any more. Jane should understand that her life is not as safe as she thinks to be, and Mr. Rochester may become a person whom it will be hard to trust.
“Jane Eyre” by Charlotte Bronte Essay
“Jane Eyre” is a tragedy and romantic novel which was written by Charlotte Bronte. It was adapted into film by Robert Stevenson in 1944. “Jane Eyre” is partly an autobiographical novel which filled with romance and tragedy in the life of Jane Eyre. At the age of nine, Jane Eyre had lost her parents and was an orphan. She went to live with her aunt Mrs. Reed. (Bailey, 115)
Mrs. Reed was a sister to Jane’s father and her family was the only family Jane had so; she went to live with them. But the Reeds did not see Jane as a blood relation rather; she was treated as an outsider. While in the home of the Reeds, Jane was physically and emotionally abused by her aunt Mrs. Reed and her children. (Niemann, 214)
This comparative essay will highlight the differences between Stevenson’s 1943 film of “Jane Eyre” and Charlotte Bronte’s novel. Apart from Stevenson’s film not maintaining a first narrator as the novel does, it is arguably the best adaptation of Charlotte Bronte’s novel.
A central theme that Stevenson’s film emphasizes which is not a prominent theme in the original story by Charlotte Bronte is Jane’s perseverance all through the story. Bronte’s original story narrates Jane’s story as an orphan who finds joy at the end of the story but Stevenson’s film tells the story of Jane as a person who went through a lot of pain and discrimination but did not give up.
The problems which Jane faced as an adult and a child will be discussed in this essay.
Comparing the film “Jane Eyre” to Bronte’s original novel
“Jane Eyre” is a novel which was originally written by Charlotte Bronte and it has been adapted into film 3 times. It was adapted into film in 1913, 1915 and 1921. Out of all the adaptations, Stevenson’s 1943 adaptation is considered the best because; his adaptation has a unique and slightly different pattern of the Jane Eyre story. (Rowland, 241)
In the original novel of “Jane Eyre” written by Charlotte Bronte, Jane was portrayed as an evil child and she was treated badly for this reason. (Rowland, 281) Jane’s extended family perceived her as an evil child and this same notion of Jane been an evil child manifested again when her employer stumbled from his horse. After Jane’s employer stumbled from his horse, he accused Jane of been an evil person and the reason why he stumbled from his horse. (Niemann, 302)
In Stevenson’s adaptation of the “Jane Eyre” story, the problems of Jane Eyre are shown as norms of a class-oriented society. People usually want to associate with other people who are of the same class to them. So, Jane was maltreated because her parents were dead, and she was seen as a poor girl. Life is usually tough and obstacles are always encountered in the process living. (Bailey, 400) There has never been life without problems.
With the examples given above, there is a slight difference between Robert Stevenson’s adaptation and the original novel by Charlotte Bronte. Apart from the film not maintaining a first person narrator, it also, ends a little happier that the original story and this is noticed when the adaptation is constructively compared to the original novel.
The ordeals of Jane as narrated by Robert Stevenson and Charlotte Bronte respectively
Jane faced a number of problems in her life as a child and an adult respectively. (Bailey, 510) In the beginning of the story, Jane lost her parents to a deadly disease known as typhus and she became an orphan at the early age of nine. After losing both parents to the cold hands of death, she was compelled to live with her uncle’s family. Although Mrs. Reed perceived Jane as an evil child and she abused her physically and emotionally. (Rowland, 321)
After leaving the home of the Reeds’ Jane goes into another world full of hatred in Lowood institution. While in Lowood institution, Mr. Brocklehust became Jane’s new tormentor. But, Jane soon finds happiness in Lowood Institution when she meets Helen. (Rowland, 212) Jane and Helen subsequently became friends but Jane’s happiness was cut short when she lost her only friend and confidant to the cold hands of death. (Niemann, 202)
After leaving Lowood institution, Jane works as a governess for a very wicked and selfish employer, Mr. Edward Rochester. (Niemann, 412) Jane experiences a tough and difficult stay at thornfield but she and her employer Mr. Rochester eventually fell in love but they were forbidden to express it. (Bailey, 401)
All these instances mentioned where the ordeals which Jane Eyre encountered during the course of the story. In spite of the fact that, Jane found happiness at the end of the story, it was a terrible and tough experience for Jane growing up. (Bailey, 615) There was no difference in her adult age and this made the story of “Jane Eyre” a tragedy.
A central theme emphasized in Stevenson’s film that is not a prominent theme in Bronte’s novel
Robert Stevenson produced the film “Jane Eyre” as a tragedy film but the central theme emphasized all through the film is the resilience and perseverance displayed by Jane. (Niemann, 815)
At the tender age of nine’ Jane had lost her parents to the cold hands of death due to typhus. This seemed to be the beginning of Jane’s turmoil. Been orphaned at that tender age, could have broken any child down but Jane persevered and overcame it. (Rowland, 116)
After the death of her parents, Jane went to live with her aunt Mrs. Reed. But Mrs. Reed had her own reservations about Jane due to her daring spirit. (Niemann, 356) Mrs. Reed had expected Jane to be a withdrawn and timid child due to the fact that she had lost both parents at a tender age. But contrary to Mrs. Reed’s expectation, Jane was a daring child and not even the death of her parents affected her. (Bailey, 444)
Mrs. Reed more or less discards Jane off to Lowood institution and she had already misinformed Mr. Henry Brocklehust that Jane was an evil child. (Niemann, 358) Mr. Brocklehust was in charge and ran the school. Due to Mrs. Reed’s accusation, Mr. Brocklehust harassed Jane in an environment which was already filled with impoverished and orphaned kids. (Rowland, 718)
For other children, this could have been the breaking point because of the pain and torture they had already encountered. But in Jane’s case, the pain and torture did not deter her. This type of resilience is what is needed in our today’s worlds to survive. (Rowland, 788)
While in Lowood institution, Jane for the first time in her life found happiness through her friend and only confidant Helen. But that happiness was cut short when Helen eventually died. After leaving Lowood institution to work as a governess, Jane was still faced the challenge of been considered as an evil person. But even in the face of such torment, Jane still manages to make her hostile boss fall in love with her. (Bailey, 623)
Charlotte Bronte’s novel portrays Jane as a character who went through a lot of pain and societal discrimination but eventually found happiness at the end of the day by marrying the man of her choice. But in Robert Stevenson’s film, the character Jane is portrayed as a person who in the face of adversary and abuse, never gave up or broke down but rather persevered and conquered. (Rowland, 514)
The central theme of the film “Jane Eyre” is resilience and perseverance. This is clearly expressed by Robert Stevenson as he highlights the problems of Jane and the things she lost while struggling to succeed. (Niemann, 611) During the course of the film, Jane endured the struggle between principle and passion.
Also, during that period, she endured and overpowered temptations of the flesh and spirit. While Bronte’s novel simply portrays Jane as someone who eventually finds happiness after societal and family abuse, Stevenson’s film portrays Jane as a character who had resilience and was never gave up even when it seemed like all hope was lost and this made Jane a conqueror and a hero who eventually finds her heart desire due to her inner strength. (Niemann, 800)
Bailey, Hilary. Mrs. Rochester: A Sequel to Jane Eyre. New York: Sloane hall, 2010. Print.
Niemann, James. A Novel Inspired by Jane Eyre: Jane Eyre told from the first person- perspective. New York: Blackwell, 2010. Print.
Rowland, Wiley. Jane Eyre. The Graphic Novel: London: Amy, 2003. Print.
Significance of Jane’s and Antoinette’s dreams in Jane Eyre and Wide Sargasso Sea Essay
Charlotte Bronte and Jean Rhys use dreams to symbolize the destiny of the main characters. The dreams also present to the characters the premonition of the events that are about to take place in their lives.
In the novel Wide Sargasso Sea, Antoinette, the main character, experiences a number of dreams. The first dream occurs when she is a child. The dream is a premonition of danger that is ahead; although she dreams after fighting with her friend Tia, it also represents her conscience because her friend despises her during the ordeal. In the dream, Antoinette is lonely and her life is under threat.
However, this represents her past after having a misunderstanding with Tia hence the fears that their friendship is about to fallout. At seventeen years, Antoinette experiences her second dream. The dream foreshadows her future where her stepfather will force her to get married. She will have no choice but to accept the suitor’s proposal. The dream also foresees her suitor as a rude and disrespectful man who will push her around. Although she hates her fiancé, she will eventually take him to altar and recite the marriage vows.
Additionally, she has a white skirt on which is soiled, showing she will lose her virginity to a man she hates in her life. In the final dream, Antoinette remembers her childhood dolls and house; she sees her childhood friend Tia and her stepfather. When the two call her she declines their request showing that she hates them. The third dream represents her change of lifestyle from the cruelty in England to the comfortable land in the Caribbean after her marriage.
On the other hand, since childhood Jane, the main character in Charlotte Bronte’s Jane Eyre experiences frequent dreams. Jane’s first dream is a premonition of problems that are about to happen in future. She wakes up screaming and in reality, her Uncle John pass on while her aunt is in critical condition.
This leaves her in a somber mood for a few days. In addition, she wants to marry Rochester who has a mad wife called Bertha. Bertha typifies the consistent problems that will characterize Jane and Rochester’s relationship hence she acts a barrier. The second dream also symbolizes the unpleasant events that are yet to happen to Jane.
The dream is a flashback of her childhood where she was lonely following the early death of her parents. She is carrying a baby, which tires her, but she is unable to put her down due to lack of a suitable place. This symbolizes the final state of Thornfield, which will be inhabitable due to destruction. Additionally, the dream represents Jane’s conscience and fear of marriage as a wife of Rockester.
Her inability to get her future husband foreshadows a barrier that is in between the two which hinders their marriage. Although she wants to marry Rochester, his present wife is an obstacle. Truly to her dream Bertha (Rochester’s wife) burns down the estate. After sometime, Jane has a third dream that foreshadows her change of residence from Thornfield to unknown place.
However, the dream is a representation of her emotions where she thinks her marriage to Rochester will not last. Luckily, in her dream there is a person with determination to bond her to Rochester, which eventually happens. The last dream typifies her emotions due to her daily encounters where Rochester is to marry another woman called Ingram. The dream is a presentiment of her relationship that is incurring frequent troubles that lead to their ultimate separation.
Compare the Relationship of Mothers and Daughters in Jane Eyre and Wide Sargasso Sea Essay
The relationship of mothers and their daughters has been brought out in many literary works by many authors. Feminist themes have been popular with authors because they are of high demand and they talk about the issues that affect women and try to bring these issues to the people concerned. Jean Rhys and Charlotte Bronte are among the many authors that have brought out a feminist theme in their books.
They have brought about the nature of the relationship between mothers and their daughters, the challenges that they go through and how they overcome these challenges. The two works by the authors are related in that one work is the rewrite of another or almost the duplicate of another and therefore almost all the themes are the same in both books
This paper critically examines the nature of the relationship between women and their daughters in the works of Jean Rhys, Wide Sargasso Sea and the works of Charlotte Bronte, Jane Eyre. It compares the relationships in the two books and brings out the similarities and the differences. It also examines the way the two authors have brought out the mother characters and the daughter characters
About the authors
Jean Rhys is an author from the 20th century who was born in Dominica. Her birth name was Ella Gwendolen Rees Williams. She schooled in a convent school and later on in a girls school in England. She was criticized in the girls’ school and that could have formed the basis of the feminist themes in her works.
She moved quit a lot in different towns and cities and had a lot of struggles especially after her dad died. She had trouble getting her first novel published and therefore she had to pause nude for a Britain based novelist to get funds to publish her novel. Jean started her writing career by writing short stories under the supervision of an English writer called Ford Madox Ford. Ford stated that her viewpoint and her themes were fueled by her outsider status. Jean wrote many novels with feminist views and themes
Charlotte Bronte was born of an Irishman called Patrick Bronte. She was from a big family of six children where two elder ones died early. The remaining four were home schooled and therefore they developed a strong bond with each other. This bond led them to engage in artistic works together which included poetry, tales and a lot of fantasy stories.
Charlottes writing career started almost immediately after her mother died and it was fueled by her two sisters because they mostly used to write together. After their aunt died, they had finished their first novels. Charlotte’s first novel which was called professor was not published. Her first novel to be published was Jane Eyre which she wrote immediately after her first novel.
Jane Eyre was the breakthrough of Charlotte’s writing career because it was very successful and got so much attention from publishers and the literary community. Charlotte’s works was not only admired but also criticized. Many people criticized her of being very emotional and full of anger.
Her themes were also very feminist and she was applauded for her ability to bring out the female protagonists in her books. She was also recognized for her ability to bring out the human nature of their characters. This made her different and unique from other novelists and authors because they lacked the human aspect or humanism in their characters
Comparison of the relationship between mothers and their daughters in the novels
Plasa states that there are a lot of similarities between the two novels that compare the relationship between mothers and daughters in both of them which is portrayed in the theme feminine protagonist (Plasa 21). Both authors portray both characters as young women who go through a lot of struggles in their life from a troubled childhood to a troubled life and marriage.
They both were raised from religious backgrounds and they have both experienced criticism and have been looked down upon by the richer and better off people. The difference between these novels is that Antoinette character is more emotional, has gone through more stressing experiences and is less mentally stable than the Jane character
Both authors have written about two young women who lived with a lot of struggles in their early life in harsh environments. This is one striking similarity of the novels.
Jane Eyre is a novel that describes the life of a young girl called Jane and describes the stages that she goes through in her life from her childhood at Gates head where her aunt and cousins mistreat her physically and emotionally, her education, her social life and her career. It describes the early years of Jane and all the struggles that she goes through as a child until she becomes of age. Charlotte states that Jane is orphaned at an early age and she goes to live with her harsh aunt who mistreats her. (Chapter 1. pg. 8)
She is then sent to lowood institution which is very strict but with better treatment than her aunt. While at this institution, she makes friends who immensely influence her personality and her character. Jean states that Jane spends more than eight years at lowood and therefore having enough influence that enables her to be the governess of the area.
Jane starts to experience even more trouble and suffering in her older years after the death of her aunt. She experiences a lot of misfortunes with her love life and also with her career but she finally settles down with Rochester with whom she gives birth a baby boy and they live happily until her death. The main themes in this novel are female protagonist, gothic imagery and religion and morality. The feminist theme has however been brought out more in the novel
Wide Sargasso Sea is a novel about a young heiress who has had an unhappy marriage in the Caribbean which makes her to relocate to England. The novel is mostly about the female protagonist called Antoinette who brings out her story from her childhood to her marriage to Mr. Rochester which was an arranged marriage.
This novel is written in three stages that is the childhood of Antoinette in Jamaica where she also describes her mother’s mental instability. The other part revolves around the marriage of Antoinette in Jamaica. This part also describes the causes of the downfall of Antoinette and the unhappiness of her marriage. This part makes the bulk of the novel because many activities and events occur in this part. The last part is a short part and it describes the last years of Antoinette’s life in Rochester’s mansion
The relationship between mothers and daughters in the two novels is shown in the feminist protagonists and the feminist themes in the two novels. Womanhood in Wide Sargasso Sea is related to issues of slavery and those of mental instability. Feminism is shown clearly in the character of Antoinette when she went to the convent school. The friends that she makes in the convent school that is Miss Germaine and Helene portray the feminist values that Antoinette adopts for example she learns what beauty and chastity is.
In this book, the independence of women characters both legally and financially depends on men within them. Antoinette’s mother sees the death of her husband as a second chance to start a new and get away from all the struggles that she has been through. Charlotte Bronte has also portrayed a Feminine protagonist in the novel Jane Eyre.
Female protagonist is shown through Antoinette by her romantic and passionate side which makes her more mature than the other children in her age. This can be shown in the novel where she says “each picture told a story; mysterious often to my undeveloped understanding and imperfect feelings, yet ever proudly interesting” (Charlotte 1, pg. 7).
Female protagonist is also shown when Jane admits that she is so attached to Helen and that she loves her and needs her. These words show the passion in her. This is shown in the novel where she says “No; I know I should think well of myself; but that is not enough; if others don’t love me, I would rather die than live… I cannot bear to be solitary and hated, Helen.” (Charlotte 8, pg. 60) There are various other ways that the female protagonist has been brought out in the novel
The novel Wide Sargasso Sea was an attempt to rewrite the story of Charlotte’s Jane Eyre. They therefore have almost the same themes and the character Jane is almost similar to the character Antoinette. Both characters in this novel grew up in an environment with limited Love.
However Jane is able to find herself and be a woman of her own identity, Antoinette still struggles to find her real self and who she really is. The gender differences are brought out in Wide Sargasso Sea as women are shown to be going through financial constraints because of the dominance of men.
Both authors show the sufferings that women go through in a society that is dominated by men. Antoinette’s mother rejects Antoinette because of her vulnerability to the discrimination that she goes through in her relationship and she thinks that Antoinette has a second chance to start again when her first husband dies. This poor relationship between Antoinette and her mother makes her so distrustful of people around her and makes her more emotionally unstable.
Both novels have feminist themes although the approaches taken by the authors are different for example in Wide Sargasso Sea, Jane has an idea of the place of women in the society and what they deserve while Antoinette does not have any idea of what a woman is in the society and she has no idea of the actions to take to change all the discriminations that occur in her life.
Jane also has quite a stable relationship with her mother even though her mother dies at an early age. Jean states that Antoinette had a poor relationship with her mother because of the difference in their beliefs and in what they want. (Part 2, 25-30)Antoinette is therefore practically lost in life and she cannot be happy and find peace and a sense of belonging like Jane does.
Wide Sargasso Sea although written almost in the same time as Jane Eyre, it brings out the female protagonist in a modern way and therefore brings out the conceptions of a modern women despite the same experiences as those of the female protagonist in Jane Eyre. Modern feminism can be said to be infused in the older feminism of the works of Charlotte.
Charlotte writes that in Jane’s world, women are seen to be under strict circumstances and they cannot therefore participate in the society as men can while in Antoinette’s world this restriction and repression is not there and women are a bit freer. Rhys therefore tries to show ways of dealing with the oppressions that women go through in a different and newer style and voice and even the structure of narration.
In the novel Wide Sargasso Sea, it is hard to determine what type of mother that Antoinette will be because of the many repressions both emotionally and physically that she is exposed to from her husband and by the lack of exposure of her identity which is caused by the experiences that she went through and the lack of happiness that existed in her life
Jean Rhys also depicts lack of faith in women to stop the oppressions that they are going through. She states that a woman cannot be successful in finding peace and equality. (Part 2, 103-104) In Jane Eyre, Jane is brought out as being mature and more developed that she has the resources to defend herself from all the oppressions that she experiences. Antoinette on the other hand cannot defend herself because she has not found herself and her identity and she cannot protect herself.
Both characters are distressed by their experiences and the oppressions that they undergo. Jane approaches these issues in a more loving and old way while Antoinette approaches these issues in a more diverse and contemporary way. In Jane Eyre, the author depicts that women can achieve their goals despite the struggles that they have to go through for example Jane gets what she wants in the end and she is finally happy despite all the struggles that she goes through
These two novels therefore show that women go through a lot of struggle but their success will depend with the setting that these women are in and their beliefs and the approaches that they take to solve these problems. The feminist themes however have been inspired by the backgrounds of the two authors, their experiences in life and how they dealt with the problems that they had. It was also inspired by the kind of friends that they had
Charlotte, B. Jane Eyre-Signet Classic. New York: Penguin Books USA. 1982
Rhys, J. Wide Sargasso Sea: Jean Rhys- Introduction. England: A. Deutch Publishers. 1966
Plasa, C. Jean Rhys: Wide Sargasso Sea. New York: Macmillan publishers. 2001
Gender in Jane Eyre
“All your home comes from me, or will perform in a couple of years”. Go over the significance of gender in Bronte’s representation of the kid characters in Jane Eyre. Through my research study of Charlotte Bronte’s Jane Eyre, I was quick to discover that the novel is a product of its time, however likewise depicts revolutionary ideas about female autonomy and the right to equality for all. Jane Eyre was composed in 1847, a time were a women’s social standing and significance was substantially less to that of her male counterpart.
A female’s primary goal was to discover a husband and calm down. Little was made of a lady’s profession options or opportunities as it was thought about daft to believe a low born lady could mature to be anything more than a governess. (Murphy, 2013) Merry E. Weisner states that “Individuals did talk less formally about a woman’s life, nevertheless, and when they did it was her sexual status and relationship to a male that mattered most.
/ A female was a virgin, spouse or widow, or at the same time a daughter, wife or mother” (Weisner, 1993, p51-52). Gender is an extremely important theme throughout Jane Eyre and can be noted especially well through a research study of the novel’s kid characters.
John Reed is a prime example of how class and gender conformities seep through the very permeable age barrier at a young age. John Reed is not your typical high born Victorian gentleman and this can be noted first through his image, “John Reed was a schoolboy of fourteen years old/ large and stout for his age, with a dingy and unwholesome skin; thick lineaments in a spacious visage, heavy limbs and large extremities. He gorged himself habitually at table, which made him bilious and gave him a dim and bleared eye and flabby cheeks” (Bronte, p4). We see him bully Jane unrelentingly at the start of the novel and this can be deducted to a number of reasons. John is indulged by his mother and thus has a feeling of self-importance and superiority. To some degree he probably takes a lead from her (who also dislikes Jane). As the only ‘man of the house’ John believes he is head and shoulders above a lowly orphan girl. He does not believe that she is worthy of what he, (by way of birth right), provides for her, and thus takes it upon himself to punish her accordingly, “you have no money, your father left you none; you ought to beg, and not to live here with gentlemen’s children like us, and eat the same meals we do, and wear clothes at our mama’s expense”(Bronte, 6)
As the only high born male in the house he feels that he has the authority to dish out verbal and physical abuse as he sees appropriate. So strong is his sense of self importance that he never feels as though he is on the losing end of an argument. A young Jane is aware of this and as a female in ‘his’ household, feels like she has to do what he says, even though she knows it will not end well. We see this when she allows him to throw a book at her after she takes one to read behind the curtain, “the volume was flung, it hit me, and I fell, striking my head against the door and cutting it.” (Bronte, 6). Although it is from this incident that Jane first finds her voice against an oppressive male figure, it’s still an insight into the psyche of a young boy in the early 1800’s, and one that certainly portrays how gender could shape a society in the early 19th century. (Hesse, 2013, 1) Helen Burns is a girl who suffers greatly from the wrath of Mr Brocklehurst and Mrs Scatcherd. Brocklehurst believes that all girls are intrinsically born indulgent and that they want the luxuries of life that only men can offer them and thus aims to humble the girls of Lowood through food deprivation and the cutting of their hair, i.e., taking away their femininity. (Capes, 2013, 1)
The conflict between Brocklehurst and Helen can on the surface, seem like a religious one, but as you delve deeper into the mind of Bronte at the time of writing, you soon find out that it has a lot more to do with gender than you might have thought. In the early 1800’s, it was men who had all the power in the church and woman were expected to serve the clergymen and on occasion help out at Sunday school. The history of Christianity is full of male martyrs who upon death are given hero status. Helen Burns serves as paradox to this idea. Helen dies of consumption, which is largely down to poor conditions she has to put up with as a result of Brocklehurst’s pious, self-righteous quest to humble the girls of Lowood. She is the epitome of good Christian values. Her ‘turn the other cheek’ outlook on life is what defines her in the novel and ultimately what Jane finds most interesting about her. Her death is beautiful, and shows a deep, sophisticated insight into what it meant to be a good Christian in the early 1800’s. Ironically, Brocklehurst’s pious crusade sees Helen, the better Christian, die.
Helen is the martyr character in Jane Eyre. She is there to portray that it doesn’t matter how good a Christian you are, women will always be subordinate to their male counterparts. Even her name ‘Burns’ signifies both the hellish life she has suffered, and also how she was damned from the start. (Creelman, 2005) Bronte uses her to show the gender conflict at the time of her writing and also as a way in which to progress Jane’s character. Jane is an average looking, intelligent, and brutally honest girl. She has been an orphan from a young age and as a lowly born, orphan female, she has faced oppression all her life. Although she has faced oppression and threats to her autonomy, she continually succeeds in showing she can be a free thinking, independent female (Murphy, 2013) The first time we see Jane stand up to male authority is through an outburst she directs towards John after he throws the book at her, “Wicked and cruel boy!” I said. “You are like a murderer–you are like a slave-driver–you are like the Roman emperors!” (Bronte, p6) It is after this she gets sent to the red room and we truly see the nature of how unfairly she is treated.
Later we see her rebuke Mrs Reed’s claim that she is deceitful and should be brought up in a manner which best suits her prospects. “I am not deceitful: if I were, I should say I loved you; but I declare I do not love you: I dislike you the worst of anybody in the world except John Reed; and this book about the liar, you may give to your girl, Georgiana, for it is she who tells lies, not I” (Bronte, 1847). It is through these comments that we see Jane’s first verbal victory against an oppressor and it marks an important point in Jane’s discovery for autonomy. Mr Brocklehurst forms an opinion about Jane because of the fact that she is a lowly female girl and also because of the account he received from Mrs Reed. Jane is someone looking to break the mould. She has her own ideas of autonomy and gender inequality. Along the way she has gained inspiration from women who have managed to succeed in one way or another. Mrs Fairfax is the authority of Lowood when Mr Brocklehurst isn’t around. She is a powerful woman, a person Jane can look up to. Not only is she powerful but she is also kind, and makes a good impression on Jane. Other examples of this include Miss Temple and Helen Burns.
On a more extreme level, Celine Varens is a woman who is at the mercy of men, but can manipulate her lovers into indulging her. She treats them badly as a result. (crossref-it.info) A young Jane soon finds out that although she is female, as long as she keeps her morals, she can succeed. Overall Jane Eyre offers us valuable insight into gender roles in the early 1800’s. Whether it’s the patriarchal way in which a 14 year old John Reed finds power, the submissive way in which a young Christian girl ‘turns the other cheek’ in the face of oppression, or how one little girl with revolutionary self-worth gains autonomy in a male dominated world, Jane Eyre remains a classic novel, and one which will remain so for many years to come.
Kristycaper.co.uk/post/19688269684/gender-and-sexism-in-charlotte-brontes-jane-eyre 7/11/2013 Jane Eyre, 1847, Penguin Books, England
Kamia Creelman, July 2005, Department of English University of New Brunswick, www.lib.unb.ca/texts/jsv/number27/creelman.htm Merry E. Wiesner- Women and Gender in Early Modern Europe, first published 1993, second edition 2000, Cambridge University Press Sharon Murphy, Lecture Notes, 2013
Suzanne Hesse- www.victorianweb.org/authors/bronte/cbronte/hesse1.htm
Reason vs. Passion in Jane Eyre
Reason and passion are two emotions that are shown by most of the characters in Jane Eyre. Some people´s behaviour is governed by rationality and they think carefully about all what they do. The opposite happens with impulsive people who follow their feelings, prevailing passion to reason. Passionate people do not think before performing their actions, because of that they are considered more authentic than people who act guided by reason. However, sometimes passion must be left behind and people have to act according to reason and consciously.
This situation is clearly shown in Jane Eyre, the novel written by Charlotte Brontë, in which the two most important characters show strong passion and reason in their personalities. Through conflict, allusion and symbolism the writer tells the story of Jane Eyre and Mr. Rochester.
Conflict is used by the writer to show the collision and disagreement between two persons and also the inside conflict in a person. In the novel a conflict between two human beings is clearly expressed in the relationship that Jane has with her evil aunt Mrs.
Reed. Jane feels humiliated and denigrated by her aunt, she cannot bear any more the cruel treatment and she feels dominated by fury. The writer describes Jane´s behaviour as “..shaking from head to foot, thrilled with ungovernable excitement” (29), uncontrollable and irrepressible as all kinds of passion. The conflict between them is clearly shown by the writer when Jane says, “…I am glad you are no relation of mine: I will never call you aunt again so long as I live.” (29). The lack of love and the difficult relation between them is evident in those lines. Moreover, Jane´s life is almost always a fight between reason and passion, in the novel the author shows how women in Victorian´s times were not allowed to guide their decisions by feelings or emotions. Restrictions and limitations were ordinary in women´s life and those restrictions were the cause of many internal female conflicts. An example of this occurs with Jane when she says,”…I must renounce love and idol. One dear word comprised my intolerable duty- “Depart!””(279). In this situation Jane has to fight against her passion; against her love and hope to stay with Mr. Rochester
despite knowing that he was already married. Jane says, “..Mr. Rochester I must leave you.” (268) she is concerned about what she must do, even when it does not concurs to what she wants. Guided by her reason she leaves Thornfield and she exclaims, “Farewell! Was the cry of my heart as I left him. Despair added, Farewell for ever!.” The author shows clearly, how reason and passion can produce conflicts with other people and also internal ones.
Allusion is also used by the writer to indicate the power that passion and reason have in the characters´ personalities. Allusion to God and the Bible are common in the novel. At that time people´s behaviour was governed by Christian duties and they had to struggle between those duties and their natural human passion. Jane Eyre is not the only character who shows passion in the novel and also Mr. Rochester has a strong and fervent presence which is demonstrated by the writer in an example when he says, “…By God I long to exert a fraction of Samson´s strength, and break the entanglement like tow!”(267). The reference to Samons,(“the man of the sun”) who is mentioned in the Bible because of his supernatural strength given by God, represents the violent and uncontrollable emotions of Mr. Rochester expressed when Jane tells him her will of leaving Thornfield and him. Furthermore, allusion to God is used many times in the novel and it denotes the importance of religion at that time and the strong belief in God and divine punishments. However, many times Jane´s behaviour is against will of God but also against society´s rules. An example of that is stated by the writer when she says “…I am not talking to you now through the medium of custom, conventionalities, nor even of mortal flesh;-…”(223), it clearly shows Jane´s rebellion and audacity to talk to a man inappropriately. Besides, she says, ..”it is my spirit that addresses your spirit; just as if both had passed through the grave, and we stood at God´s feet, equal,-as we are!” (223) here it is expressed a divine equality and at the same time the human passion which does not know about reason. On the other hand, allusion to God also expresses the power of faith in guiding Jane to follow her reason and an example of that is given when she says: “I will keep the law given by God; sanctioned by man. I will hold to the principles received by me when I was sane, and not mad- as I am now.” (280). Jane´s madness is actually her
passion, her love and the law of God is the sensible behaviour that she has to have, and even which she used to have. That conscious and prudent conduct is her reason, which represents the will of God. Moreover, when she leaves Mr. Rochester her last words are blessings, she says, ”God bless you, my dear master!” (281). It states her strong belief in God and the peace of the right decision making. Those allusions to God represent the importance of religion in that period of time in which the novel was written and how it influences in people´s reason and passion.
Central character´s personalities are well developed through fire, symbolism of passion and water as symbolism of reason. Fire represents passion and sexual appetite in the character of Bertha Mason, Mr. Rochester´s wife, who sets fire to his bedroom. That scene is described by Jane, who says, “Tongues of flame darted round the bed: the curtains were on fire. In the midst of blaze and vapour, Mr. Rochester lay stretched motionless, in deep sleep.” (130). The fire around the bed is a clear representation of sex and passion and it is reasserted when Mr. Rochester describes Bertha as “intemperate and unchaste” (270) which are adjectives related with uncontrollable passion and sex. Then another incident is the fire which destroys Thornfield and in which Bertha dies and Mr. Rochester goes blind. A host tells Jane the story that happens two month after her departure and he says,”…she sets fire to the hangings of the room next to her own (…) and made her way to the chamber that had been the governess” (378). It reflects Bertha´s intention to kill Rochester and Jane´s love and represents the danger of uncontrollable feelings. On the other hand, water symbolizes the extinction of fire and the reason that defeats passion. It happens when Jane saves Mr. Rochester´s life in the bedroom fire and she says, “I rushed to his basin and ewer; fortunately,(…) both were filled with water. I heaved them up, deluged the bed and its occupant” It states Jane´s intention not to follow her feelings towards Mr.Rochester but act guided by reason. Moreover, she says, “by God aid, succeeded in extinguishing the flames”, which indicates Jane´s will of acting guided by religious rules and extinguishes her inappropriate love. Fire as imagery of the danger of improper feelings and water as representation of reason and death of passion tells the character´s personalities.
In conclusion, Charlotte Brontë exposes through conflict, allusion and symbolism how passion and reason are the guide of characters´ behaviour at different situations in the novel. Jane as a child and when she is treated unjustly is guided by passion, but then when she grows up she learns how to control her passionate emotions. However, in some situation she is not able to do it and reacts with rage, for instance when Mr. Rochester tells her that she has to leave Thornfield. In contrast she follows her reason when she knows that he is already married, but it is possible because of her strength and religion belief. She takes the hard decision of leaving her love, faces an uncertain reality and only comes back when Mr. Rochester is widow. He ends up being a partial dependent husband because of his disabilities and it could be interpreted as a punishment for his excessive and improper passion. It is not a classical romantic novel but the romance genre is predominant and in the end love survives dangers and difficulties.
Essay about Reading
Ever since I started learning to read, it has been one of my favorite hobbies. I love to submerge myself into a book and get the chance to go on adventures I never can in the real world. Usually, when I get hooked on a good book, I can’t put it down. I’m not myself anymore. My reality becomes eclipsed by something as simple, yet complex, as words on paper. I begin to eat, sleep, and experience through the character in the tale.
I am the character in the tale. Although I experience these journeys vicariously, it feels real in my mind, and that’s good enough for me. When I am reading, I like to settle myself in a very quiet environment with little to no noise. I often read during the evening or at night. More often than not, I get myself a snack to chew. I also get some water to quench my thirst, especially if I’m reading a story taking place in dry conditions.
I like to lie on the sofa or on my bed because I enjoy being very comfortable while reading. Some will fall asleep whilst reading, but I usually get too absorbed by the book to do so. Something I don’t understand is when people must listen to music or have noise in the background- for me, it is very distracting. In my life, I like to think that I’ve read quite a few books. I don’t have a favorite genre of books but I read much more fiction than non-fiction. That is something I am trying to improve on- I want to read more biographies, auto-biographies, non-fiction narratives, speeches, etc.
Some books that I love are: The Diving Bell and the Butterfly, Gone with the Wind, Jane Eyre, A Time of Angels, To Kill a Mockingbird, The Catcher in the Rye, The Help, The Fault in Our Stars, Ender’s Game, Harry Potter and more. I want to learn how to read faster and retain information better to become a more efficient reader. I often find that I have difficulty recalling details in a book. Reading allows for a break from all the stress and scurry in life. It allow one to relax and enjoy some alone time. I love when a book is quick to get into and interesting.
The passage from Charlotte Bronte's "Jane Eyre"
Throughout the course of this essay I will be examining an extract from the second chapter of Charlotte Bront¸’s ‘Jane Eyre’ in which Jane finds herself locked in the Red Room. I will be looking closely at the relevance of this passage to the structure of the novel overall, paying close attention to the narrative devices used.
The novel is a fictional autobiography comprising a first-person narrative, which allows the reader to see events and characters through Jane’s eyes, and therefore increases the authenticity of the text.
Jane’s experiences within the Red Room are also portrayed solely from her own point of view, giving the reader an insight into how Jane’s heightened nerves provoke an unnatural depiction of her surroundings. The room itself is described as a ‘vault’, the chair becomes a ‘pale throne’, and the bed is referred to as a ‘tabernacle’. The highly fanatical and superstitious tone mirrors the fact that the narrative is told from a child’s perspective and also illustrates the more passionate attributes of Jane’s character.
As Jane peers into the ‘great looking-glass’, a distorted reflection of herself is revealed. Bront¸ appears to use the mirror as a symbol of Jane’s inner self, as after she studies her reflection the tone of the narrative changes and becomes a critical examination of her situation and character. She views her reflection as a ‘strange little figure’ or ‘tiny phantom’, and her later description of Mr. Rochester as a ‘phantom’ could be an echo of this portrayal of herself as a child.
Halfway through the extract, the perspective shifts to the adult Jane looking back in retrospect on her experiences within the Red Room. The ‘ceaseless inward question’ that could not be answered by Jane as a child is now solved, demonstrating that Jane has been able to overcome the passion and anguish she felt in her youth, and replace it with the composed knowledge of an adult.
Bront¸ uses a significant number of linguistic techniques to highlight Jane’s emotions in this passage. The use of parallelism in the phrase ‘from morning to noon, and from noon to dusk’ stresses Jane’s seemingly endless struggle with injustice at Gateshead, and the repetition of the exclamation ‘Unjust!’ emphasises her bitterness towards the Reeds. A series of rhetorical questions and exclamations concerning her discrimination within the Reed household is followed by an extended digression in which Jane broods over the injustice of her situation. This highly emotionally charged passage is emphasised by the personification of her ‘reason’ as it speaks out against her ‘unjust’ condition in life. Her feelings are often given a voice in this way to display her innermost emotions, and also to allow the reader to identify with her thoughts and actions. The personification of ‘superstition’ as Jane describes the impending arrival of ‘her hour for complete victory’ enhances the supernatural atmosphere.
Jane’s punishment by imprisonment within the Red Room is the first of a succession of metaphorical captivities, predominantly relating to Victorian society’s attitudes towards gender, social class, and religion. Jane criticises the prejudice and superficiality of Victorian society by stating that had she been a ‘handsome’ or ‘romping’ child, her presence would have been endured ‘more complacently’. The events that take place within the Red Room are emblematic of Jane’s isolation from almost every community and society. As an orphan raised by a wealthy family, she is accustomed to the education and lifestyle of those of a higher class than herself, but she is not in possession of any money and is even shunned by the servants who describe her as ‘less than a servant’.
The low ottoman, on which Jane is commanded to sit upon, is representative of her standing in society. The image of being confined to a stool and prohibited from rising is redrawn upon at Lowood School when Mr. Brocklehurst unjustly punishes Jane in such a way. Her imprisonment in the Red Room, and in a similar way her punishment at school, acts as a reminder that she is being socially excluded. The isolation Jane experiences as a child prompts her to search her mind for drastic alternatives, such as ‘starving herself’ or ‘running away’. Although these are rather desperate options, they demonstrate her strong characteristics of determination and pride.
While within the Red Room, Jane considers the cruelty of John Reed, who taunts his mother and calls her ‘old girl’ and yet is still, in Mrs. Reed’s eyes, ‘her own darling’. Jane notices with heavy irony that John mocks his mother for her dark skin, despite it being ‘similar to his own’. Jane’s fiery nature is again displayed by her indignation of the fact that ‘no one had reproved John for wantonly striking me’. The quarrel between Jane and John Reed also establishes the theme of gender conflict within the novel. Her status as a female leaves her susceptible to John’s violence and taunting, and as he is the only son, his tyrannous character is indulged. By fighting back, Jane refuses to conform to the level of obedience that would have been expected of a female in her situation.
Bront¸ often turns to the theme of slavery as a symbol to represent the domestic and social hardships that opposed women in the eighteenth century. The narrative frequently returns to this metaphor in order to illustrate similarities between slavery and gender repression. John Reed is earlier referred to as a ‘slave-driver’, and while locked in the Red Room, Jane asks how Mrs. Reed could possibly ‘like an interloper not of her race’, thereby classifying herself as an outcast and also raising questions of racial differences and slavery.
The theme of the Red Room recurs as a symbol several times throughout ‘Jane Eyre’, reappearing in Jane’s mind on occasions when she links her present circumstances to that first feeling of humiliation she experienced in the Red Room. It becomes a leading theme throughout her life, and she recalls on the scene at many later stages in the novel to give context to her most troubled and dark experiences. Bront¸ also uses figurative language to recall her experiences within the Red Room. The metaphor ’embers of my decaying ire’ is used to illustrate Jane’s diminishing anger, and in the following chapter Jane is met with the image of a blazing fire as she wakes from her unconsciousness. These references to figurative and non-figurative fires return many times throughout the novel.
The passage is heavy with colour and sound imagery, accentuating Jane’s heightened senses and emotions while in the Red Room. The mood is intensified by the repeated descriptions of the room’s ‘silent’ atmosphere, ‘chill’ air, and the gathering of ‘quiet dust’. This somewhat ominous silence is not broken until the end of the extract when a sound fills Jane’s ears ‘like the rushing of wings’. Jane’s initial impressions of the colours within the Red Room, such as the ‘soft fawn’ and ‘blush of pink’, do not at first seem negative, but gradually the colours around her become increasingly more threatening. The colour red is highly significant, being the predominant colour within the room. Red is often used in conjunction with the themes of passion and fury, and the descriptions such as the ‘curtains of deep red damask’ mirror physically Jane’s excessively fervent character.
Charlotte Bront¸ was greatly influenced by the Gothic novels that were in fashion before the time of ‘Jane Eyre’. The Gothic novel was popularised in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, and was defined by its use of suspense, supernatural elements, and desolate locations to generate a gloomy or chilling mood. The protagonist of the novel would generally be female, and often face distressing or morbid circumstances. In this extract, Jane seems to fit this stereotypical Gothic heroine as her situation is certainly distressing and, although she faints, she demonstrates her resolve to resist those who persecute her, a strength that was common in Gothic women.
The use of suspense is another Gothic technique employed within this extract. The final paragraph of the extract begins with the short, simple sentence ‘A singular notion dawned upon me’, and then gradually the tension increases as Jane’s imagination becomes progressively more frantic and superstitious. The use of long, complex sentences and lists interspersed with commas and semi-colons give the text a fast-paced and frenzied tone. The suspense continues to increase until finally the extract reaches its climax and Jane screams.
The scene within the Red Room is loaded with intricate Gothic imagery and details. The deep red colour of the room is implicative of death and blood, and both of these aspects feature prominently in the stereotypical Gothic novel. The descriptions of the ‘rain…beating continuously’ and the ‘wind howling in the grove’ paint a vivid Gothic picture of the stormy moors that surround Gateshead. The supernatural elements in the passage, such as the ‘rushing of wings’ that fills Jane’s ears and her vision of the ‘herald of some coming vision from another world’, are the most noticeably Gothic. The usage of such obvious Gothic elements so early in the novel forecast impending Gothic ideas and locales later in the text.
It is the application of these Gothic characteristics that seem to give the novel its widespread appeal. However, although Charlotte Bront¸ incorporates many of these Gothic influences within ‘Jane Eyre’, she has developed the traditional techniques significantly from what would have been the typical Gothic of the late eighteenth century, making ‘Jane Eyre’ extremely unique in style.
‘Jane Eyre’ clearly contains many Gothic elements, but there are also many strong features of realism within the text. Bront¸ provides the reader with lengths of highly detailed prose portraying accurately Jane’s surroundings, such as the extensive descriptions of the Red Room’s interior in this extract. Careful attention is paid to illustrate thoroughly the ‘chairs…of darkly-polished old mahogany’ and the ‘piled-up mattresses and pillows of the bed’. This meticulously detailed imagery adds an element of authenticity and realism to the text, enhanced further by the references to social class and gender issues. Later in the passage, the description of the ‘herald of some coming vision from another world’ is surrounded by detailed prose, describing Jane’s every emotion and movement as she ‘rushed to the door and shook the lock in desperate effort’. This extensive use of detail renders even the most Gothic elements of the text realistic.
The events that take place within the Red Room are highly relevant to the structure of ‘Jane Eyre’ as a whole. Several themes, such as those of gender oppression and the Gothic, are first used within this extract and then continue to recur throughout the novel. The Red Room’s importance as a symbol also continues throughout, and every time Jane experiences fear or humiliation her mind returns to her memory of the horror and ridicule she encountered that afternoon. Many of the Gothic images described in this passage foreshadow future Gothic themes within the plot, and the elaborate Gothic imagery reappears frequently throughout. The extract also provides the reader with an extensive insight into Jane’s personality by demonstrating the presence of her easily provoked superstitious and passionate nature.
Jane Eyre and Bertha Mason from "Jane Eyre"
I bent forward: first surprise, then bewilderment, came over methis was not Sophie, it was not Leah The shape standing before me had never crossed my eyes within the precincts of Thornfield Hall beforeIts seemed, sir, a woman, tall and largeIt was a discoloured face—it was a savage face. I wish I could forget the roll of the red eyesthe lips were swelled and darkShall I tell you of what it reminded me? …the vampire. If a person were to read this quote for the first time, his instinct would be of a stereotypical mystery or even horror book.
But in fact, this comes from Jane Eyre written by Charlotte Bronte, with a plot nothing like what one might think from this passage. This shows that no matter what the plot of story is; in this case two peoples journey to find love, there is some mystery that keeps the reader guessing.
Jane experiences several of Berthas crazy escapes from the attic, but is completely unaware of who or what she is.
This lack of knowledge of Janes brings in a sense of suspense and terror to the plot. Without this fear that Berthas character creates in Janes life, the story would just be another tale of love. Jane becomes more curious about the mystery hidden deep in Thornfield Hall and begins to think the person causing the mayhem is Grace Poole. The dread of Bertha produces a dark cloud over Thornfield, symbolizing the secrets kept by its residents, specifically Mr. Rochester.
Bertha is a metaphor for Janes subconscious feeling of rage. Jane loves Rochester, but she still fears the binds that the marriage will bring. Jane never acts out on this anger or fear, but Bertha does. Bertha ripping Janes wedding veil symbolizes a secret feeling of Janes that the marriage should not go on. Jane leaves Thornfield, feeling it is now a place of imprisonment or inferiority. While she is away, Bertha burns down Thornfield, expressing what Jane could only feel and not carry out. Bertha is also an antithesis with Jane. They are compared to show the contrast of both. Before the reader even know who Bertha is, it is clear the she has savage-like qualities that bring out Janes righteousness and kindness. This gives the reader more understanding into Janes character.
As the story continues and Rochesters past containing Bertha is identified, similarities between Jane and Bertha are observed. They are both symbols of the socially imprisoned Victorian women. One example is their unattractiveness in the Victorian era. Bertha becomes ugly from her insanity, showing that women, including Jane, were somehow confined due to their lack of beauty. The presence of Bertha Mason in the plot strengthens the readers desire to keep reading and discover who the vampire is. Berthas mystery also strengthens Janes and Rochesters relationship and creates a perfect climax to one of the most read stories of the nineteenth century.