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How Charlotte Brontë uses descriptions of places to show how Jane Eyre feels about some of the key places in her life.

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Sumera Qureshi 24/02/2001 Explain how Charlotte Bront� uses descriptions of places to show how Jane Eyre feels about some of the key places in her life. From the beginning, Jane Eyre explores and challenges the social preconceptions of nineteenth-century Victorian society. Themes of social class, gender relations, and injustice predominate throughout Jane's story. The descriptions of places given are very important in showing the reader how Jane feels about these issues and thus herself. As a child, the most decisive moments for Jane take place inside; Helen Burns death and her encounter with the red room, however, when she is in her adult years, the key moments then take place outside, in nature; the meeting with Mr. Rochester and his proposal. Charlotte Bront� used these descriptions of places, whereby the setting of Jane's different homes symbolised important aspects and feelings that related to her life and her feelings. She managed to do this not only in her description of places, but also in her description of the weather. This particular literary device is called Pathetic fallacy. This technique was named by the Victorian writer John Ruskin and described writing where the descriptions of the weather mirror the emotions experienced by the particular character in the novel. This device is particularly effective because these descriptions take the place of sometimes-crude dialogue or narrative in revealing the emotions experienced by the characters to the reader. ...read more.


Charlotte Bront� then describes her air as being 'still', again using it as a metaphor to describe the momentum in Jane's life; she feels she is stationary and her life is not leading towards any purpose. Again, Jane takes pleasure in her natural surroundings on the lane to hay. When she sees the few plants she remarks at how in some seasons the lane changes into completely different scenery; in summer the 'wild roses' and in autumn the 'nuts and blackberries' yet now in winter it has been forced into its 'utter solitude'. Through these descriptions of the different seasons, Charlotte Bront� uses these as symbolic metaphors to describe the different seasons of 'life'; the best considered season being summer had the beautiful wild roses and the autumn had the bittersweet blackberries but Jane's season, winter, considered the worst, had a few beautiful features but none that caused 'a sound'. This symbolism was used again to show how different life could be for people of the different class', but because of Jane's 'class' she still does not receive the same pleasures as other persons. When Jane hears of Mr. Rochester impending horse she writes the sound as being 'A metallic clatter,' Through the choice of the adjective 'metallic' to describe the sound, Jane clearly distinguishes this 'man-made' sound from the 'soft whisperings' and almost idyllic natural surroundings which Jane has been enjoying; almost as if this 'rude' intrusion was not meant to encounter ...read more.


Rochester again. Once she enters the room, she offers him a half-full glass of water. This event can again be seen as symbolic, as when Jane had first found out of Mr. Rochester's wife, he offered her a glass of wine to revive her; he offered himself to her as the glass with the wine, a sign of wealth - so when she offers him a glass of water; she now offers herself to him, the water representing her pure and simple nature. The descriptions of places, throughout the story, help to reveal a third and deeper dimension to the plot and characters feelings. The use of symbolism and pathetic fallacy by Bront� allow the reader to explore Jane's feelings without the crude use of dialogue or narrative and therefore allows the reader to interpret Jane and her character in their own individual way. Bront� uses these literary devices with flair and originality and manages to encapsulate not only the story of two lovers but also explore and reveal the wider, partly autobiographical, social issues which Jane and persons in her position have to face. The style and language Charlotte Bront� use are very effective and reveal a lot about Jane's feelings and the turns and twists in the plot, however, in some places - particularly the proposal scene, the descriptions and Pathetic fallacy used become to obvious and spoil the enjoyment of the story. Overall, however, Bront� reveals how Jane feels to the reader successfully using her techniques to increase the enjoyment of the story. ...read more.

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