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Jane Eyre

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Essay: Jane Eyre Jane Eyre is a Victorian novel by Charlotte Bronte written and set in that era. It was published in 1847, but under the male pseudonym of Currer Bell. Jane Eyre suffered many hardships in her life and in the book she relates to them, and draws parallels between her life and Jane Eyre's life. There were three publications with revised texts. In this essay I will outline, analyse and cross-reference the two major themes underlying the opening chapters. I will discuss the following ideas: How setting is used to reflect Jane's feelings and the contrast of Jane's views with the patriarchal Victorian household. I will concentrate on the author's methods of evoking empathy and sympathy in the reader, and the language used to do this. I will show how the author's language affects the reader's perception of the characters. The author uses setting in the opening chapters to great effect. She uses the setting to reflect Jane's mental and emotional state. She uses a number of emotive verbs, nouns and adjectives to illustrate a complex psychological landscape. The author uses a variety of adjectives and writing techniques to relay the character's mood. ...read more.


Charlotte Bronte uses a clever selection of words here to demonstrate this concept. The narrative says, 'and seating himself in an arm-chair he intimated by a gesture that I was to approach and stand before him.' Her use of language here shows that John believes himself to be superior to Jane, and by just saying, 'he intimated by a gesture' shows how he feels so self-important that he only need gesture to have someone stand before him like a servant. The words 'stand before him' already suggest an examination of some sort, as if by a king. This is an excellent example of where the author carefully selects the language to acheive maximum effect. Even the servants refer to him as 'Master John' even though he is only a child. Another example of these ideas is when John accosts Jane for reading the books. He says: [You] eat the same meals as we do, and wear clothes at our mama's expense. Now I'll teach you to rummage my bookshelves: for they are mine; all the house belongs to me or will do in a few years... What he says clearly illustrates his role in his household. ...read more.


She sees how he was cruel and malicious. Charlotte Bronte here uses her words to change the reader's view of John. This theme is enhanced by her skilful usage of words. The reader would until now not have really thought John to be wicked and cruel, just a bit naughty and arrogant; but when she said that Jane saw in him 'a murderer', it significantly changes the reader's thoughts about John. In conclusion, I would like to outline the ways in which Jane Eyre has been informed by novels from the seventeenth century through to the nineteenth century. Novels from the seventeenth century have influenced Jane Eyre insofar as Jane falls in love later on in the book, to a married man, and there is a romantic story. This is indicative of seventeenth century novels that were predominantly about illicit love. Eighteenth century novels that involved virtuous and sympathetic characters, like Jane and other characters later on in the book, have also definitely influenced it. Nineteenth century novels also affected it. Many nineteenth century novels used psychological landscaping and 'pathetic fallacy' to describe the character's emotions. These factors unquestionably engendered the use of the psychological techniques in the first two chapters. Furthermore, in the preface to the first edition, she alludes to nineteenth-century authors such as Thackeray that have influenced her. Avi Rosten ...read more.

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