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Has the Gothic novel tradition influenced 'Jane Eyre'?

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Introduction

Has the Gothic novel tradition influenced 'Jane Eyre'? I believe that the gothic novel tradition has indeed influenced the novel that is Jane Eyre. Most gothic novels contain supernatural encounters, remote locations, complicated family childhood, ancient monad homes, dark secrets, suspense and a successful conclusion. The story contains the majority of these elements. The romantic section in the novel has a fairytale theme; this is quite common if the story is to follow the gothic tradition. We meet the Byronic hero 'Mr Rochester' and therefore we expect a damsel in distress but Jane never presents herself in this manner. In fact, it is she who rescues 'Mr Rochester' and Jane becomes the heroin. 'He laid a heavy hand on my shoulder and leaning on me with some stress, limped on to his horse. Soon afterwards, Mr Rochester and Jane fall deeply in love with one another, but due to the gothic tradition, there must be someone or something that must block Jane from achieving true happiness. According to the gothic tradition, good will overcome evil. We are not sure what evil Jane will have to overcome but it appears in the form of Bertha. Bertha is indeed a true gothic character. The only place in Thornfield where Jane is forbidden to explore is the third floor of the mansion. ...read more.

Middle

While Jane is staying at Gateshead with her cousins and aunt, The Reed family she is mocked and punished for no reason whatsoever. This creates a permanent emotional scar throughout Jane's life. At Gateshead, Jane is not accepted as part of the family but is tormented, as she believes happiness will never exist for her in her lifetime. This also tells us that Jane had an unhappy childhood Mr Brocklehurst takes advantage of Jane, as she is less powerful even tough she had more passion. He makes her isolated and to be made a fool of so her friendship with Helen Burns seems an unlikely event to happen. While at Thornfield working as a governess she and Mr Rochester are about to marry, however on the wedding it is interrupted by Mason and his solicitor. They both claim that Mr Rochester already has a living wife. This wife is the terrifying figure the Jane saw in her bedroom and who seemed to try to murder her. There is a lot of suspense as the reader is curious to find out whom this strange character is. This character is Bertha. Bertha stands in the way of love between Jane and Mr Rochester as long as she lives. In the Victorian age, someone who had an affair was seen as an evil spirit but divorce was also frowned upon so that was not an option either. ...read more.

Conclusion

The clear eyes are Jane, the red eyes Bertha's. This tells us that Jane with the clear eyes seems to be good but Bertha with the red eyes seems evil. This extract gives us a clear view of what blood is all about in the novel. For me the ending is quite childishly written, however most gothic novels end with harsh and difficult decision. Jane is torn between loves with St. John Rivers and Mr Rochester. With St John rivers she can live a happy life but it seems that Jane will never feel true love if she makes this decision. With Mr Rochester, she can experience true love but she will be restful at the fact she is being unholy by marrying Mr Rochester while Bertha still lives. It is St John Rivers Vs Mr Rochester. Conveniently, a fire kills Bertha but Mr Rochester survives at a cost of his eyesight, but Jane still feels love for him. This ending was rushed in my view. I believe there should have been a lot more thought put into the final stages of the novel rather than see this fairytale, happy ending which exists today. For me Jane Eyre was an enjoyable piece of well-written language. However, this would appeal to the Victorians more rather than people in this day and age. Using the evidence that the element s that are needed to make a ~Gothic Novel I agree that ' Jane Eyre was influenced by Gothic Tradition ...read more.

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