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Gothis Elementa In Jane Eyre

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Introduction

Explore the Gothic Features Used In The Novel "Jane Eyre" Gothic features are all through the novel 'Jane Eyre'. Even though the novel is romantic, not gothic, metatonamy, references to the supernatural, and other gothic features can all be found in 'Jane Eyre'. Charlotte Bronte uses metatonamy throughout her novel as a gothic technique, creating atmosphere. The novel begins with pathetic fallacy, with 'sombre clouds' and 'penetrating rain', which reflects Jane's 'sombre' mood. This makes the reader immediately aware of the sadness of Jane's childhood. Another example of this technique is in Chapter 5, where, on the journey to Lowood, it is 'wet and somewhat misty'. The word 'misty' gives the effect of insecurity and secrecy surrounding Lowood, and Jane's future there. It also creates a gloomy atmosphere, which reflects Jane's life at the school. The weather is also described as 'misty' when Jane arrives at Thornfield in Chapter 11. This has the same effect, and also reflects Jane's life at Thornfield, as it is where she discovers Mr.Rochesters' secret. This use of pathetic fallacy to forewarn the reader of Mr.Rochester is also employed when Jane first meets him. The moon is 'pale yet as a cloud, but brightening momentarily'. This 'brightening' symbolises the brief time that Mr.Rochester and Jane are together as a couple. The moon is also used by Charlotte Bronte to give prior notice to the reader about the events on the night Mr. ...read more.

Middle

This sense of the room being forbidden creates a mysterious and supernatural atmosphere, and Jane reinforces this, by talking of Mr. Reed's spirit in chapter 2, and how it 'may quit its abode' and 'rise before me in this chamber'. In the 'original' red room, Mr. Reed had died. The second time a red room appeared in the novel is in chapter 20. In both cases, she is locked in the rooms overnight, and is scared of an inhuman creature appearing, in the form of Mr. Reed's ghost, and the 'wild beast or fiend'. These similarities increase the expectation that, like Mr. Reed, Mr. Mason will die too. The third time Jane is locked in a room, she locks herself in, after discovering about Mr.Rochesters' wife. She is also in her room for a long period of time. In the other two red rooms, someone becomes ill; in Jane's room, she was 'sickening from excitement and inanition'. The red room becomes a symbol of affliction. Throughout the novel, there is an aura of mystery surrounding Mr.Rochester. It is typical of gothic novels to have a mysterious character. Mr.Rochester hints at his past all through 'Jane Eyre', first hinting when he first meets Jane at Thornfield, saying 'fortune has knocked me about a bit since', and makes other references to misfortune, for example, 'when fate wronged me'. These suggestions create a cryptic atmosphere around him, and force the reader to ask questions such as 'what happened in his past?'. ...read more.

Conclusion

These adjectives lead to the connotation that somebody is being murdered by someone else, and this builds up the mystery. Then, this feeling is intensified with the revelation that Mr. Mason has been attacked. A mysterious character enters again on the eve of Janes wedding, when someone enters her room and rips the veil. An aura of uncertainty is created as to who this person was, and why they were doing this. There is a gothic element of a monster in 'Jane Eyre'. Bertha sucks the blood from Mr. Mason and 'said she'd drain my heart'. When looking back on this from the 21st Century, we can see this is typical of a vampire. Later, Jane explains that the woman who tore her wedding veil reminded her 'of the foul German spectre- the vampire'. This imagery of the vampire is very supernatural, and therefore becomes gothic imagery. Bertha is repeatedly described as beast-like throughout the novel- when Jane is introduced to Bertha, she is unsure of whether she is 'beast or human being'. She describes her as a 'strange wild animal'. Her laugh is described as 'demonic' and 'goblin-laughter'. This use of supernatural imagery gives the effect that Bertha isn't human, and that she herself is a mystery. The gothic features used are similar to the many gothic novels of its time. These similarities lie in the plot, and literary techniques used by Charlotte Bronte. Gothic novels incorporated mystery and suspense into the plots. 'Jane Eyre' has lots of these elements. The supernatural, and mysterious strangers are usually in the early gothic novels. ...read more.

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