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Charlotte Bronte's "Jane Eyre" is not a novel which is characterized by any one genre.

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Introduction

Charlotte Bronte's "Jane Eyre" is not a novel which is characterized by any one genre. It is a hybrid of an autobiography embedded in a nineteenth century Victorian romantic melodrama and enriched by a Gothic essence. 'Jane Eyre" tells the story of a young woman's internal development as she travels along the journey of self-fulfillment and a quest of love and acceptance. Although Jane is plain, she is strong and assertive, and her continuous struggle for a balance between the forces of Love and Autonomy predominate throughout the novel. Lowood is the first institution where Jane's thirst for love is partially quenched when she gains two friends - Helen burns and Ms. Temple - who readily accept her despite whatever class status or personal characteristics she possesses. In chapter 8, Jane confesses to Helen "if others don't like me, I would rather die than live - I cannot bear to be solitary and hated." ...read more.

Middle

- a mine of pure, genial affections." Jane's later marriage to Rochester encloses the cycle of romantic fervor and further adds to her wish-fulfillment. The novel is a division of five settings - Gateshead Hall, Lowood School, Thornfield Mansion, Moor house and Fearndean Manor - each of which plays a critical role in the development of the protagonist and the novel as a whole. Bronte uses several themes and criticisms in achieving these developments and highlighting various genres of the novel. Bronte's narrative challenges the existent social preconceptions of the era in which it was set. Consistent repression is made of the conventions relating social class, gender relations and the institutions of marriage and inheritance. From the novel begins, the reader sees Jane as a "poor orphan dependant"; isolated, oppressed and subjugated; who lives with her wealthy and uninviting cousins and Aunt Reed. ...read more.

Conclusion

In addition, Jane also represses the social convention of marriage by contemplating Rochester's intention to marry Blanche Ingram. Love is not the core of marriages for those of a higher social status (such as Rochester). It is usually for political reasons, establishing alliances and for securing fortunes. Bronte also uses the character St. John, to represent a different critical view towards the inherently oppressive nature of marriage. St. John seeks Jane as a wife, not for love, but for 'enlisting' her in his "warrior-march". He refers to a wife as being "the sole helpmeet I can influence in life, and retain absolutely till death." Bronte's criticism of this view of marriage is reflected through Jane - she refuses to be St. John's "missionary's wife" as she would become an "always restrained; part of him"; continually ' forced to keep the fire...low, compel it to burn inwardly and never utter a cry..." Jane realizes that "this would be unendurable" and tells St. John that she "scorns' his "idea of love". ...read more.

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