How does Charlotte Bronte build up tension? Using chapter 23 to illustrate.

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How does Charlotte Bronte build up tension? Using chapter 23 to illustrate.

Charlotte Bronte wrote Jane Eyre in 1847. Throughout this novel Bronte criticises and challenges some views and believes that she experienced herself within the injustice of the Victorian society.

In this essay I am going to use chapter 23 to show how tension is built up in terms of language, feelings and symbols. Firstly, I'm going to include a brief summery of the plot and at the same time highlight the main characters I'll be working with. Secondly, I will include the history of the time the book was written in and comment on how it links with the story. Finally, I am going to point out and explain the many different techniques Bronte uses to build up tension.

Jane Eyre opens with the narrator, the adult Jane Eyre recalling her childhood experiences growing up as an orphan at Gateshead, the home of her unfriendly aunt, and her children. Jane is always wrongly punished, she was even sent away to Lowwood charity school where pupils are treated appallingly. There she passes six years as a student, then two as a teacher. After that Jane becomes a governess at Thornfield, owned by Mr. Rochester. Jane falls in love with her master and Rochester asks Jane to marry him, she agreed. On the day of their marriage Jane discovers that Rochester is already married, she then refuses to be Rochester's mistress and leaves Thornfield. Later she becomes a teacher at a new local school; she also meets her three cousins. St John [her cousin] proposes marriage to Jane; however she refuses as she still loves Rochester. Finally, she returns to her master to find out that he has been maimed and blinded when his first wife burned down Thornfield and killed her self. The novel ends with Rochester's marriage to Jane and a description of the happy life ahead of them.

The main characters I’ll be mentioning in this essay are Jane Eyre and Edward Rochester. The heroine and narrator of the novel, Jane is an intelligent, honest, plain-featured young girl forced to compete with oppression, inequality, and hardship. She has also developed a sense of right and wrong from an early age. Despite being naive and innocent she is still able to look after her self and became very independent.  On the other hand, Edward Rochester is a passionate man with a dark secret that provides much of the novel’s suspense.  He was a very unhappy man when we first met him, however his pure love for Jane eventually changes him back to the man he was. By the end of the book his blinded and crippled state was used to metaphors his loss of arrogance and pride.

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Charlotte Bronte is attacking the social injustices that were present in the nineteenth century. She successfully does this and clearly portrays what life was like at the time the book is set. Today, men and women are treated equally, which was certainly not the case in the nineteenth century. Women, in the nineteenth century were treated as if they were inferior to men, 'Seating himself in an armchair, he intimated by a gesture that I was to approach and stand before him´. At that time also, very few occupations were open to those who had to support themselves. Marriage was too seen ...

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