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How much more is 'Jane Eyre' than just a piece of romantic fiction?

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Introduction

How much more is 'Jane Eyre' than just a piece of romantic fiction? All the qualities of a typical romantic fiction are certainly found in 'Jane Eyre'. The usual qualities found in romances are a Hero and Heroine. They can have some tension between them before finally falling in love but something gets in their way, eventually they over come all odds and get to be together in the end. Obviously Jane is the Heroine and Mr. Rochester is the Hero, and as in most romances, the story is told through the eyes of the Heroine. 'Jane Eyre' starts off with Jane's childhood to allow the reader to get to know Jane and sympathize with all her views and feelings. When Jane first moves to Thornfield Hall the romance starts. To build up the tension for the reader Jane is at first denying her feeling. "it was rather a trial to appear thus formally summoned in Mr. Rochester's presence" It is obvious to the reader what is going to happen and frustrating that Jane will not admit that she likes him this is very typical of a romance. It follows on conforming to the romance stereotype when Jane admits her feelings but something gets in the way. ...read more.

Middle

A reader from the time when 'Jane Eyre' was written would probably have admired Jane in being faithful to her religion as it would have been very unacceptable to their society for Jane to have a relationship with him regardless. The character of Mr. Rochester would have seemed shocking when he tries to convince Jane to be his mistress, for the time it was written the readers would have considered Mr. Rochester's views very wrong. 'Jane Eyre' challenges the society of the times, for example; the treatment of school children when she is sent to Lowood. "with the keen appetites of growing children, we had scarcely sufficient to keep alive a delicate invalid." Images like this that 'Jane Eyre' puts forward would have given out the strong message to society at the time it was written that bad treatment of children is wrong and cruel. It is more shocking to a modern society because Children have to be cared for now by our laws. At the time 'Jane Eyre' was written children that had no money or who were without a proper family were cared little about and considered as less than other people. ...read more.

Conclusion

Jane is often described as a bird. At the beginning Jane is feeding a robin out of her window. This shows Jane's nature as kind and generous. It also could be seen that the bird represents Jane, accepting any food as Jane accepts gratefully any love and kindness she is shown. The bird is hungry like Jane longs to be loved. It is used later on by Mr. Rochester when he is proposing to Jane. "Jane, be still; don't struggle so, like a wild frantic bird that is rending its own plumage in its desperation." This could also be seen as dramatic irony because later on Jane gets frantic and gets so desperate she runs away and nearly ends up dieing and Mr. Rochester has accurately described in a metaphor what Jane does later on. Jane Eyre is a wonderfully different romance novel that had a big part in the change of style of romance. It has all the qualities anyone would look for in a regular romance as well as clever symbolism, a sense of mystery and horror that would have been considered gothic when it was published, it questions religion, class, society and appearance. This novel causes the reader to think about things that are in a way still relevant even in modern society. There is a lot more to Jane Eyre than just romance. Tamsin Arthur 1 ...read more.

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