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Jane Eyre

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Identify and analyse the gothic elements in Charlotte Bronte's Jane Eyre. Explain their use and effect on the reader. The Gothic genre in many cases plays a vital role in suppressing a feeling of fear and mystery, adding to the writings characteristics. The gothic derives from the medieval period. Gothic tradition utilizes elements such as supernatural encounters, remote locations, complicated family histories, ancient manor houses, dark secrets, and mysteries to create an atmosphere of suspense and terror. Gothic horror refers to a kind of fiction which may have a medieval setting, but which also develops a brooding atmosphere of gloom and terror. Sometimes, events are represented in an uncanny, macabre way. Sometimes, they are violent in a melodramatic way. Often, strange psychological states are also explored. The Gothic is a compilation of many elements; these elements can be classed under setting, vocabulary, writing style and characters. Within these classifications there are many articles which make up the idea of Gothic within writing. There are aspects of the gothic in many films and novels, including Bram Stokers Dracula, the haunted hotel by Wilkie Collins and the candy man. The gothic genre is used to keep the readers interest throughout, enticing them into the plot and key events, making them want to read or watch to the end. The gothic elements allow the reader to sympathise with main characters, making them emotionally attached, this allows for interest of the final outcome for the character. In some cases the gothic allows the reader or viewer to identify and relate to past events in there own lives. The combination of emotions, feelings and gothic usage and usage justifications I can understand why Gothic elements are used within films and novels. ...read more.


A real atmosphere is created when Jane is locked within the Red Room, the reader is enlightened with a mass of happenings, really emphasised with the atmosphere. The red room almost becomes a character within itself, it becomes demoralising, influencing Jane and turning her emotions to fear, terror and horror, the room is living, and eventually defeats Jane when she collapses and passes out, this helps to make the novel more interesting for the reader, creating an enjoyable reading experience. "Jane's whole life pilgrimage", the novel Jane Eyre is a journey of Jane trying to find and recognise who she is and what her position within the world is, at the beginning she is vulnerable victimised Jane who is a poor orphan left to fight the world, by the end she is the total opposite, family loving wealthy Jane, with children and a husband, she becomes wealthy and is no longer vulnerable, instead she becomes top, top of the world, left to live another day. Within chapter fifteen, the fire, Gothic aspects appear frequently, characters are introduced as gothic, Mr. Rochester is portrayed as the Hero in comparison to his lover Jane who is the Heroine. I have noticed that opening paragraphs of chapter fifteen are most strongly gothic, with most aspects being concentrated together to give maximum effect to the reader. Jane says, "Cruel cross of fate", as the reader you can envisage that something is going to happen, driving a barrier between a potential relationship, preventing true happiness and romance, in relation to the narrative this eventually becomes a true factor, particularly within volume 2 chapter 20 and volume 2 chapter 25, when Bertha Mason, the mysterious 'something' of the novel drives a wedge between the relationship of Mr. ...read more.


explains that she may take an item of his clothing, almost as if he is giving prior permission, again implementing his idea of control and authority, he continues to say, "Place your feet on the stool", he gives a direct instruction, telling Jane to do something, not just suggesting but insisting and directing an order, just before he leaves he says, "Remain where you are", he must have the last say, enforcing his belief of power, "Be as still as a mouse... ...Don't move", this is a direct instruction again adding to the idea of control and authority. Charlotte Bronte again followed the gothic tradition, where it was believed that the male character was more superior and powerful than the working women, Charlotte Bronte wanted to change this stereotype, and so she did, specifically when Jane becomes more powerful than Mr. Rochester within the last few chapters of the Novel, when irony is implemented, at the very beginning of Jane Eyre, Jane needs Mr. Rochester, she is a very weak character, who posses nothing but her small collection of possessions which are of nor true value, however at the end of the novel this has changed, it is no longer Jane who needs Mr. Rochester, but instead the reverse, Mr. Rochester who needs Jane, after an accident that was caused by Bertha Mason, it left him blind and practically homeless and helpless, Jane had become a wealthy women, powerful, in control and most of all caring and sure of her position within society. A theme of romance is introduced within Chapter fifteen, the potential relationship between Jane and Mr. Rochester is introduced, immediately after the fire there is a slight reference of sexual tension, Mr. ...read more.

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