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What features of Jane Eyre can be considered Gothic?

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Introduction

What features of Jane Eyre can be considered Gothic? In the novel, Jane Eyre, Charlotte Bront� uses a variety of aspects of Gothic tradition to create a mysterious and uneasy atmosphere in places, but also one of passion with hints of the supernatural in others. Through Jane, Bront� explores in depth the Gothic aspect of fear at Gateshead. For example the vivid images that are conjured in the readers mind when we are informed by Jane about John that "every nerve I had feared him, and every morsel of flesh on my bones shrank when he came near". This is such an intense degree of fear, and we see it through the eyes of a ten year old. This is an especially poignant, as well as being a highly Gothic, description. Other uses of Gothic tradition at Gateshead are isolation, use of a gloomy setting, hints at the supernatural and a macabre event when "the volume was flung" at Jane by John Reed. Another setting which is used by Bront� to explore aspects of Gothic tradition is Thornfield. Here confinement, seclusion, irony, foreboding, macabre events, passionate romance and the supernatural are used to create a chilling and mysterious atmosphere and to generate curiosity in the reader. At the beginning of the book, we see nineteenth century life through a child's eyes. Gateshead has a Gothic atmosphere, but it could not be called a Gothic setting. There are a number of Gothic ideas and events introduced here. The first Gothic ideas are those of isolation and confinement, which are partially represented by the oppressive weather and are contributed to by use of Pathetic Fallacy. A gloomy atmosphere is created by use of dull weather with "clouds so sombre and rain so penetrating that further outdoor exercise was out of the question". The word sombre means solemn, it is the kind of mood that you would expect at a funeral. ...read more.

Middle

When Jane arrives at Thornfield, 'the driver got down and opened a pair of gates; we passed through, and they clashed behind us'. This is a Gothic feature as it suggests confinement and isolation. When the gates are closed, Jane is trapped inside. Charlotte Bronte would have uses this to show how exposed Jane's situation is. Mrs. Fairfax shows Jane around Thornfield Hall for the first time and Charlotte Bronte uses rich Gothic description: 'A very chill and vault-like air pervaded the stairs and the gallery, suggesting cheerless ideas of space and solitude'. She is likely to use this kind of language to create an impression of a musty, creepy and uninhabited place; this would probably be used so that an uninviting atmosphere is created as Jane starts the next phase of her life. The staircase is described as 'dark and spacious'. It seems very gloomy and austere. There is a latticed window, which, again, gives the impression of confinement, as though Jane is trapped here. The bedrooms on the third floor are described as "dark and low"; this shows that the rooms are uninviting which is foreboding as Jane is locked in one of these with Mason. The description of the second and third floors of Thornfield is dark and ominous. It is compared to a church rather than a house, giving the impression of a cold, crypt-like building rather than a comfortable home. Throughout the text there is a feeling that foreshadows Jane's future experiences here. In the morning, after Jane has slept at Thornfield, she reports that her couch 'had no thorns in it that night'. On one level, this indicates that she slept well with no suggestion of problems. However, a sense of foreboding is created. Although she had a tranquil night, the text implies firstly that she had not expected to feel comfortable, and secondly that there may be pain and distress in the future. ...read more.

Conclusion

She goes to hay to post a letter and bumps into R and imagination Non Gothic Romance- Not pretty lead female. From the first three chapters of 'Jane Eyre', the reader gets the impression that Jane is not a pretty girl, that she is rather plain, especially in comparison to the beautiful and grand Georgiana. In the very first page of the book, we find out that Jane is, "Humbled by the consciousness of my physical inferiority to Eliza, John and Georgiana Reed." This tells us that although she is below them in stature, she also feels below them in her physical abilities. In my opinion Jane would be quite well dressed, as we find out on page 6 that Jane wears the Reed's clothes. The Reeds, in my opinion would only wear the finest clothes, although I do feel that the Reeds would not give her their finest clothes. On page 10, Jane looks in the mirror in the Red Room. She describes herself as, "the strange little figure there gazing at me with a white face and arms specking the gloom, and glittering eyes of fear moving where all else was still, had the effect of a real spirit, I thought myself one of the tiny phantoms." Jane is very scared here, so we may not have got an accurate description of her, however this does give us a tell us of what she looks like when she is frightened. There are constant comparisons between Jane and Georgiana. Georgiana is very beautiful, we are told that, "her pink cheeks, and golden curls, seemed to give delight to all who looked at her." Bessie says on page 10 that "at any rate a beauty like Miss Georgiana would be more moving in the same condition," which tells us that Jane is not a beauty. Jane is also called a "little toad" on this page. This tells the reader that Abbot's impression of Jane's appearance is very ugly. These quotes the reader the impression that Jane would not be subjected to this treatment if she was beautiful, which she is not. ...read more.

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