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Is Charlotte Bront successful in creating a typical Victorian heroine? Discuss with close reference to key episodes. Jane Eyre was written by Charlotte Bront under the male pseudonym,

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Introduction

Is Charlotte Bront� successful in creating a typical Victorian heroine? Discuss with close reference to key episodes. Jane Eyre was written by Charlotte Bront� under the male pseudonym, Currer Bell and eventually published in 1847. It is not an autobiography but Charlotte Bront� has used autobiographical elements to reflect some of the events and incidents of her own life to produce the fictional narrative. This also means that thoughts and feelings of the narrator are clearly established through empathic writing. The narrative recounts the life of an orphan girl who progresses against overwhelming odds, whose love and determination eventually redeem a tormented hero. The novel is set in Northern England during the period in which Queen Victoria reigned and during the uprising of the industrial revolution. During this era, there were significant economic changes in society. In Jane Eyre, Charlotte Bront� illustrates some of the social and moral issues in Victorian society, which include education, women's employment and marriage. Jane Eyre enforces the strict social hierarchy that existed during the Victorian age. A woman could become a governess, teacher or a factory worker but they were paid extremely low wages. However, women in Victorian society found that employment gave them independence, status, stability and financial security. In Jane Eyre, these are broad issues concerning Jane's decision in becoming a governess. Women in the Victorian era were thought of as inferior and were given very few rights and low status in society. ...read more.

Middle

The setting of Thornfield Manor is also an element of the gothic novel, as it is large and a seemingly abandoned mansion. Not long after Jane's arrival at Thornfield, Charlotte Bront� introduces fire as a symbol of love and passion, which soon becomes a reality when Jane saves Rochester from the fire. "Wake! Wake!', I cried". She is very sentimental about saving him and manages successfully to do so. "You are quenched now;" here, she is implying that she has extinguished the fire and he is now saved. Charlotte Bront� has not only used this episode to illustrate the developing relationship between Jane and Rochester, but also to establish Jane's heroic qualities in the novel. Indeed, she prepares her readers for the meeting of Jane and Rochester by using empathic language to portray her character's feelings. "Good night, my-" here, Rochester nearly slips more than he intends to say, which shows that he also has feelings for Jane. In chapter 23, where Jane and Rochester meet in the garden, Charlotte Bront� has used a lot of imagery to establish both of their feelings for each other. She has first used the weather to create a mood of passion and bliss, "skies so pure, sun so radiant". This reflects the mood of the characters, as they are both blissful in this episode. Charlotte Bront� also uses bird imagery to illustrate the character's feelings, "like a wild frantic bird". ...read more.

Conclusion

(Chapter 35) This shows that although she had been at Moor house for sometime now, her love and affection for Rochester was so deep that she could also sense his sorrows and pains. Jane is determined that she "is willing to do what is right", which shows typical heroic attributes. Charlotte Bront� uses a positive tone when Jane is being reunited with Rochester and she is reflecting that this was a joyful moment for both of them. "Reader, I married him." this reflects that Jane has finally married Rochester and concludes the novel in an appropriate way. Her tone also clearly addresses the audience that she has found a resolution with which she is fully satisfied. Although Charlotte Bront� lived in an era of the traditional Victorian heroines, Jane's character is unusual because she posses heroic qualities, but not those of the typical Victorian heroine. For example, she rescues Rochester twice, once from the fire and the second time when he is helpless at Ferndean. A heroine in Victorian times would not be expected to salvage the hero, but it would rather be the other way around. On marrying Rochester when he is blind, Jane puts his needs before her own, which shows heroic qualities. Indeed, there are elements of the gothic heroine in Jane since she is strong and emotional in relation to her love with Rochester, which never changes with her changing conditions in life. In my opinion, Charlotte Bront� is successful in creating not a typical, but a unique, innovative heroine for the Victorian reader. ?? ?? ?? ?? 1 Shaheena Baig 11:4 ...read more.

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