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Jane Eyre Case

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Jan 8

Reading a Novel



Plot (story is the narrative, plot is how we move through the story including motifs or symbols)







Jane Eyre - Charlotte Bronte

Jane Eyre is often criticized for being moved along to often by the supernatural or coincidence. It is to coincidental to be believed, and ends to happily in the Victorian Sense, as Jane ends up married to the man she loves. It is both a coming of age and a romance story.

All of the Bronte sisters were writers. Anne Bronte is not as well known as she wrote shorter books like, The Tenant of Wildfell Hall. Emily Bronte wrote only one book, but it may be the best, Wuthering Heights. Charlotte Bronte wrote 6 books including Jane Eyre, Shirley, The Professor, and Villette. There were originally two other sisters and a brother but the two sisters died at school. They were raised by their father and their aunt, in a cold manor beside a church and graveyard, living largely ignored. They began to write poetry as children and spend most of their time in the dining room writing at the large dining table. Their brother was a painter, and painted the only good painting still remaining of the three sisters. He eventually drank himself to death in the pub beside the church around their home.

The girls didn't have a lot of options when it came to making money, as options were limited for single women. Each tried being governance but none could stand it. Emily and Charlotte decided that they would open their own school and went to Belgium to improve their French. Charlotte fell in love with her married teacher and returned home to open their school which failed. Emily and Anne eventually died and only Charlotte remained, and she died when she was 40 only having being married less than a year.

A lot of the pain and strength found in the Bronte novels is drawn directly from their own live. Mr. Rochester is based on her Belgian French Teacher Mr. Hebert, as she tries to create the happy ending that she couldn't have in real life. Despite this Jane is not Charlotte, only influenced in some ways.

Jane Eyre is set up like an autobiography with Jane narrating and addressing the reader directly from time to time. The narrative technique does change from time to time as it begins in the past tense with Jane looking back but then switches to present tense to draw the reader in, as if they are there or allows another character to speak.

Style, Imagery, and Symbols are very important. Weather, like storms ice or coldness is used to represent misery. Fire is important, the family around the fireplace shows unity and whether Jane is included around the fire shows whether she is accepted or not. A FIRE outside of a fireplace is bad and dangerous but also associated with PASSION. The elements play a large role and are evident in the names of people Eyre, Rivers, Mason, Rochester, Burns, Reeds etc.

Jan 10


Continuing with names being important, Gateshead and the gates that close behind her symbolize her being locked in.

The section opens up with images of coldness and bleakness. We see Jane being excluded from the family as the sit around the fire, she is being banished.

Jane longs for a sense of belonging, Jane is shown as being banished from the fire often to show her feelings of isolation. They dislike her because she is poor and plain.

The Upper classes are usually represented poorly as selfish, self absorbed, and judgmental of those below them. The working class is the one Jane aspires to belong to.

The upper class is shown as frivolous and cold, the sense of class continues throughout the book.

Jane at the window is a common theme as she looks out showing her being alone but also as a place of safety. She reads a book about birds, which also illustrates the bleakness.

Images of color appear for the first time, that run throughout the novel. The RED curtains, blood, red room, fire. Red is associated with passion, punishment, and hell. FIRE is a really important image in the novel. It represents both belonging when it is controlled like the fireplace and passion when it is out of control.

Black the black grate over the fire, black vultures, people described as black pillars represent THRETENING things to Jane.

White represents the supernatural and things that Jane fears


Upper Class (The Reeds & Mr. Brockelhurst)

Mrs. Reed - Is Jane's benefactor and the one who becomes responsible for Jane. She resents Jane just as she resents Jane's mother since her Husband loves Janes mother, his sister, more than his wife. She also perceives that her husband loves Jane more than his own children. She is the evil stepmother character. She spoils her own children and is incapable of loving Jane. She treats Jane as an inferior and as a servant, which peeks Jane's class issues. She is stuck between classes because Mrs. Reed treats her like a servant, but she's not, so the servants don't know how to treat her.

Three Reed Cousins - Eliza is headstrong and selfish, Georgiana is headstrong and violent, John is stout, spoiled, cruel and in delicate health. John punishes Jane constantly and treats her like an animal, even calling her animal names (rat). He is full of self importance, he needs to feel superior to Jane and has no real affection for his Mother or sisters.

Mr. Brockelhurst - he is described by Jane as a black pillar.

Red Room serves as a breaking point. She is locked away for retaliating against John reed when he throws a book at her head, cutting her open. She has to choose to either breakout or forever remained trapped. She screams at Mrs. Reed to punish her any other way, or to kill her instead of keep her locked up. Mrs. Reed thinks she is doing a good job raising Jane and that Jane is exaggerating and making things up. Jane is terrified of the ghosts that haunt the red room. Jane passionately sobs and argues her case in the room, before realizing that passion uncontrolled



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