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Jane eyre gothic conventions

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Introduction

Discuss how Charlotte Bronte develops the Gothic Features of Jane Eyre Gothic literature refers to a period in the 18th 19th century when writing included supernatural or horrifying events. The word Gothic relates to the Middle Ages when stories commonly depicted courtly love, and villainous characters. 'Gothic' is also seen as a derogatory term for the Middle Ages used by the Victorians to describe an immoral and spiritual way of life. 'Jane Eyre' has been described as a Gothic novel, and portrays many characteristics of this particular style of writing. Charlotte Bront� was influenced as a child by the literature, which surrounded her. As a child, she gained an intense interest in the Gothic style, which is reflected in her novels. A new form of writing was discovered which explored the dark side of the human soul, wild romantic yearnings, and deep passions. Many Gothic novels include detailed description, and add reference to the intimate feelings, and passionate love of their characters. The authors of these novels wanted to entertain and to enlighten their audiences. Many stories were written with imaginary coincidences, mysterious characters, supernatural, unexplained, or dramatic events and adventures between a hero or heroine and their lovers. The imagery and description in these novels creates an illusion of time, space, and people. The settings for many of the chapters especially in 'Jane Eyre' are often grim and convey uncertainment and fear to the reader. ...read more.

Middle

This image of a dream also relates to Jane's childhood experiences of death. Death in 'Jane Eyre' is somewhat underrated as references are made to death so frequently that the reader accepts this as an integral part of the novel. These images of death are certainly excellent examples of the way Charlotte Bronte incorporates morbid and sinister images into her novels. Jane accepts death as a way of life, "I was asleep and Helen was -dead" Even as such a small child, when Jane was very close to death herself her connection with the dying Helen is of much significance. Bronte uses Helen's death as a symbol of independence for Jane in the novel; however, she also begins to take heed of Helen's teaching. Magic and supernatural elements recur frequently throughout 'Jane Eyre', which Bronte uses to convey terror to the reader. Jane is introduced to these themes very early on in her childhood, as she frequently fills her mind with mythical images, "all was eerie and dreary; the giants were gaunt goblins, the pigmies were malevolent and fearful imps". Jane's early knowledge of magical creatures and stories forms Jane into a solemn character, and her imagination expands in these areas. The creatures she reads about are grotesque and frightening, which heightens the reader's awareness of the ever-present mythical themes. The creatures are described with negative traits, which also reflects Jane's feelings at this particular time. ...read more.

Conclusion

The room also has no window; therefore, there is almost no light and no hope for Bertha in her 'prison'. Rochester also displays physical violence to combat Bertha's aggression and unrestrained behaviour, "At last he mastered her arms...and he pinioned them behind her: with more rope, which was at hand, he bound her to a chair. The operation was performed amidst the fiercest yells and the most convulsive plunges" Rochester's treatment of Bertha is described in detail, physically. However, his treatment of Bertha almost mirrors his psychological treatment of Jane. Rochester almost binds Jane into a false sense of security by offering her his love, and the outworking of his cruelty is his offer of marriage to her. Bronte also introduces an aspect of madness in the novel, with Rochester's first wife Bertha, "Bertha Mason is mad; and she came of a mad family; idiots and maniacs through three generations? Her mother, the Creole, was both a madwoman and a drunkard!" Many Gothic novels incorporated unconventional new themes into plots such as 'madness', and 'Jane Eyre' is an excellent example of these conventions. In this quote, Rochester describes her background; the question mark indicates Rochester's questioning of her background. As a 'Creole', a descendant of European settlers in the West Indies, of mixed race descent, Bertha was probably seen as an outcast in English Victorian Society, and not in human terms. Jane Eyre presents a particularly interesting interpretation of a 'Gothic' novel. The traditional view of a Gothic novel is subverted to produce a writing, which reflects some Gothic aspects, but is not wholly Gothic, especially the denouement. ...read more.

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