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Jane Eyre Essay

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Essay Title: Discuss the ways in which Charlotte Bront�'s Jane Eyre fits into the tradition of gothic literature? Gothic fiction is a genre of literature that combines elements of both horror and romance. It is believed it was invented by an English author called Horace Walpole, in his novel The Castle of Otranto, written in 1764. Features of gothic fiction include terror (both psychological and physical), mystery, the supernatural, ghosts, haunted houses and Gothic architecture, castles, darkness, death, decay, doubles, madness, secrets and hereditary curses. Gothic fiction is shown in the novel Jane Eyre at the beginning when Jane is locked in 'The Red Room' as a child. Bertha's madness and how she inherited it also contributes to the gothic fiction, and until she is revealed there is a sense of mystery around Thornfield Hall which seems like a haunted castle. Strange things happen there, for example, echoing wild laughter, fires, tearing of veils and Masons attack. All these characters of gothic fiction relate to Jane Eyre. Jane experiences many childhood terrors, mainly being locked in 'The Red Room', where Mr Reed died and was kept until his funeral. It is usually avoided which suggests that Mr Reed himself could have haunted it after he died. The room is "guarded it from secret intrusion", which means that no-one goes in there or uses it because of the terror that surrounds the room, which is all to do with Mr Reed's death. Jane looks in a mirror and describes herself as "one of the tiny phantoms, half-fairy, half-imp, Bessie's evening stories represented as [...]", Jane sub-consciously sees herself as a supernatural creature and only thinks like that because of Bessie's stories. This reveals that the stories have affected Jane and they add to the mystery around her childhood. When Jane was locked in 'The Red Room' she describes what is going on in the room, "Daylight began to forsake the room [...] I heard the rain still beating continuously on the staircase window, and ...read more.


Jane thinks he is very handsome by the way she describes his face, but there is something about him that Jane finds strange, but she doesn't know what. In this section of the novel a gypsy is in the house. Blanche Ingram is the first to see her. Mystery and suspense is created when Jane describes Blanche's response to the gypsy, the effect of not showing the actual meeting with the gypsy herself is it makes the reader want to read on because they don't know what was said to her. Her reaction was cold, as if she felt no different. Jane describes her "[...] and she met all eyes with one of rebuff and coldness, she looked neither flurried nor merry: she walked stiffly to her seat, and took it in silence." She is trying to make everyone think everything is fine but it's not, its obvious that what the gypsy has told her has affected her, and she isn't as relaxed as she wants to look. "[...] really your organs of wonder are easily excited: you seem by the importance you all [...] ascribe to this matter absolutely to believe we have a genuine witch in the house [...]" she is trying to make the other guests feel silly for believing in witchcraft, because she doesn't seem to believe in it. Jane is last to visit the gypsy. Our fist impressions of her are mysterious because she is wearing a red cloak and is covering her chin. She also has a non-lit candle beside her. It is strange for a gypsy to cover her face. The gypsy examines her face and uses it as a way of revealing Jane's inner thoughts and feelings. In her eyes the gypsy sees: "it looks soft and full of feelings [...] it is sad [...] that signifies melancholy resulting from loneliness" the gypsy thinks that Jane is sad because she is lonely, but her eyes show she has a lot of emotion. ...read more.


Jane leaves Thornfield and goes to St John Rivers at Marsh Glen, where they take her in and look after her. She then later finds out that they are her cousins and Jane is delighted to find that she has a family. Supernatural thing happen to Jane when she is separated from Rochester "I might have said, "Where is it?" for it did not seem in the room-- nor in the house--nor in the garden; it did not come out of the air- -nor from under the earth--nor from overhead. I had heard it-- where, or whence, for ever impossible to know! And it was the voice of a human being--a known, loved, well-remembered voice--that of Edward Fairfax Rochester; and it spoke in pain and woe, wildly, eerily, urgently." Jane and Rochester have a supernatural connection, because Rochester is speaking to her in her head, she can hear him. At the end of the novel, when Jane and Rochester are reunited, Rochester says "As I exclaimed 'Jane! Jane! Jane!' a voice--I cannot tell whence the voice came, but I know whose voice it was--replied, 'I am coming: wait for me;' and a moment after, went whispering on the wind the words--'Where are you?'" it seems as if Rochester had the same supernatural feeling as Jane, that they somehow connected while they were separated. Many characteristics of gothic fiction are shown in the book Jane Eyre such as mystery, madness, death and hereditary diseases, but it could also be seen in other categories, for example, a feminist novel by some. Throughout the book Jane is treated badly, and this could be because she was a woman, or it could be a Bildungsroman book because it is all about Jane and how she grows up into a woman, also it could be seen as a romance novel because of Jane and Rochester's relationship and how it ended happily with lots of problems in between. The novel seems to be very complex, and this could be the reason it has become so famous and well-known. ?? ?? ?? ?? Charmaine Lindsay 1 ...read more.

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