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Explore the use of the supernatural in ‘Jane Eyre’

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Explore the use of the supernatural in 'Jane Eyre' 'Jane Eyre' has been described as "no more than a typical romantic novel" but if it is read deeper, qualities unusual in a romantic novel are uncovered. Qualities that are more associated with "gothic novels" of the time. These lead me to believe that 'Jane Eyre' was not just "a typical romantic novel," and that the actual plot of the book revolved much more around the elements of the supernatural that are scattered throughout. I will investigate these elements to prove just how unlike a typical romantic novel 'Jane Eyre' really is. The first hint of the supernatural that we, as the reader, are introduced to is the occurrences in the Red Room at Gateshead when Jane was but 10 years old. She was locked in a room, dubbed the "Red Room", by her aunt, Mrs Reed. It was written that her uncle died in the very same room. Because of her knowledge of this fact, Jane Eyre believed that a light which she saw floating across one of the walls was the spirit of her uncle arriving to avenge her mistreatment by his widow: "Shaking my hair from my eyes, I lifted my head and tried to look boldly round the dark room; at this moment a light gleamed on the wall. ...read more.


Shall I tell you of what it reminded me...Of the foul German spectre - the Vampyre." foreshadows the existence of another woman (Bertha) existing within Mr Rochester's life. These dreams present the best opportunities for Bront� to include the more spiritual side of the supernatural in 'Jane Eyre.' Jane's dreams only tell her about her future, and are not predictions, merely shadows and metaphors for the future. However, many of her dreams are interpreted by Jane as bearing tragic news. On most of these occasions, it seems to me that Jane only interprets them as signs of impending doom because she associates them with similar stories or experiences, both of herself or others, which led to a tragedy. Even the most ancient childhood memories produce a basis for comparison: " When I was a little girl, only six years old, I one night heard Bessie Leaven say to Martha Abbot that she had been dreaming about a little child; and that to dream of children was a sure sign of trouble...The next day Bessie was sent home to the deathbed of her little sister. Of late I had often recalled this saying and this incident; for during the past week scarcely a night had gone over my couch that ...read more.


Buildings constructed under the idea of "gothic" architecture are noted for being elaborately built and "rising toward Heaven." Thornfield Hall meets this idea perfectly. The structure of Thornfield Hall is large and evasive. Most of the rooms are described as being "dreary and solitary," due to their dimension. The amount of land owned by Mr. Rochester isolates Thornfield Hall and compliments the overpowering appearance of the house. The architecture and location of Thornfield Hall helps confirm the idea of a desolate setting. Thornfield Hall was located on an extensive amount of land owned by Mr. Rochester. Houses were located a great distance apart and it took a long time to travel from house to house. Visitors usually spent days at houses they were visiting because of the traveling distance. With the setting of a book such as Thornfield Hall in Jane Eyre being quite out of reach to other characters, it gives the reader an eerie feeling and allows the imagination to travel when an unusual incident takes place. This also occurs when Jane Eyre is traveling through the moors after she leaves Thornfield Hall. The moors were described as an uninhabited and desolate area. With this part of the story taking place at night in this area, the reader is left to imagine the possibilities of what could be in the overgrowth. ...read more.

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