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Jane Eyre | Literary Analysis

Published: 23rd March, 2015 11th May, 2017

Disclaimer: This essay has been submitted by a student. This is not an example of the work written by our professional essay writers.

Any opinions, findings, conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of UK Essays.

It is society's nature to label certain expectations out of the population based on age, race, clothing, accent, skin tone, etc. With only one glance, a teacher might label a sophomore as a moron, a southern accent indicates an uneducated person, or a Pakistani person may be a labeled as a doctor. These expectations are mediocre when compared to one's gender. Society portrays men as dominate, educated, passionless, and ambitious; while women as dependent on men, uneducated, emotional, empowered by the glass ceiling, and serve as a decorative sex for the pleasure of men. These gender-relations have existed from the existence of human life, but are decaying at an exponentially slow rate. Nevertheless, many female novelists of the Victorian era modeled successful novels based on the gender relations. Charlotte Brontë's Jane Eyre demonstrates gender roles expected of males and females in Victorian Society. Jane and Rochester, respectively depict the ideal female and male, while Bertha Mason, the opposite of Jane, represents a corruption in gender balance. Bronte incorporates Victorian era gender roles within Jane Eyre to express the nature in which society judges individuals based on misogynistic principles.

Mr. Rochester, the Byronic hero of the novel, easily manipulates Jane Eyre to love him. Rochester is often moody but can easily show affection to Jane, ""He kissed me [Jane Eyre] repeatedly" (Bronte, 271). The reader becomes aware that Rochester may have had sexual encounters with numerous women in the past. Upon learning Adele, is ""the daughter of a French opera-dancer, Céline Varens, towards whom he had once cherished what he called a grande passion" (Bronte, 159), Bronte, depicts how men during the Victorian era could do anything they pleased. As a male in Victorian Society, he is dominating, educated, and ambitious in pursuing Jane Eyre to become his wife. Rochester plays multiple devilish tricks on Jane for her to fall for him. For one, he talks constantly about his marriage to another, extremely beautiful women, Blanche, "I am sure I shall not be able to sleep. Will you [Jane Eyre] promise to sit up with me to bear me company? To you I can talk of my lovely one" (Brontë, 235). Rochester again plays a trick by disguising himself as a gypsy woman. He tells Jane, "If you knew it, you are peculiarly situated: very near happiness; yes; within reach of it" (Brontë, 214). Rochester's intentional mingling of Jane's heart portrays the role of men in the nineteenth century. Brontë reveals to the reader that men of the Victorian Era could easily control their emotions to achieve anything they wished to desire much like Rochester plays with Jane's heart for amusement and benefits. Bronte portrays a disruption in gender balance in the novel through the use of Bertha Mason.

Bertha Mason, the antithesis of Jane Eyre, represents disruption in gender balance. Mason is insane, free-spirited, and challenges any ideal that comes in her way. Victorian Era women are quiet, passive, and loyal; Bertha is physically large, violent, and aggressive as displayed on her first appearance, "the lunatic sprang and grappled his [Rochester] throat viciously, and laid her teeth to his cheek. She was a big woman, in stature almost equaling her husband, and corpulent besides: she showed virile force in contest" (Bronte, 307). Due to her behaviors, Bertha is secluded from society, to live in a hell like room until death. Bronte reveals to readers, that Victorian era women were a disgrace to society if they were not the ideal female. Through Bertha Mason, Bronte is able to accurately portray the inhumane nature disgraceful females were forced to live in.

Characters in Jane Eyre demonstrate the gender roles expected of males and females in Victorian society. Jane represents the ideals of females while Rochester depicts the ideals of men; Bertha Mason, the antithesis of Jane, represents turmoil in gender balance and must be secluded from society. Through these characters, Bronte effectively outlines gender roles, in a successful effort to express the nature in which society judges individuals based on misogynistic principles.

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Everyone has secrets and in the novel Jane Eyre by, Charlotte Bronte we see how
a hidden past disrupts the very future of Jane’s life. Mr. Rochester has made his fair share
of mistakes in his life and one of them being keeping a dark past locked and caged up. He
literally did have his past subdued in a prison like manor because he kept his wife Bertha
Mason locked on the third floor of the Thornfield household.
We are introduced to Bertha Mason when Mr. Rochester goes on to tell Jane of
his past. Mr. Rochester’s father didn’t want to divide his property and wealth so he left
the entire estate to his other son Rowland. Mr. Rochester’s father sent him to Jamaica
was he would be expected to marry Bertha Mason. To inherit a large fortune of 30,000
pounds Mr. Rochester would wed Bertha a lovely Creole woman who was notorious for
her beauty in her hometown. Mr. Rochester would take all the necessary steps of courting
her. Wasn’t long before he professed his love for her, they got engaged and married each
soon after.
They lived together in Jamaica for a time before Mr. Rochester would slowly see
her true nature. The descendents of the Mason family had suffered from cases of mental
diseases which were past down to future generations. Bertha’s mother herself was
afflicted with the same mental disabilities and was eventually put into an insane asylum
were she would remain. Bertha inherited the bad gens herself, but she doesn’t show the
reader her true side until she sprung into one of her moods and caught an episode.
Mr. Rochester soon finds out the family had known cases of this tragic behavior
and as time goes on and he soon acquires Thornfield as his own and moves back to his
home. Bertha at his side but not for long, she is put on the t...


... middle of paper ...


... her. Jane hasn’t gotten a true break yet were she can sit back and just
enjoy life. Bertha was one of the causes of her disappointments like she has experienced
in the past because he basically ruined Jane’s wedding to Mr. Rochester.
How one woman could single handedly alter the lives of multiple people is very
interesting and we see how Charlotte Bronte uses Bertha Mason as a vessel of relapse for
Jane. Before Jane can break free once more and take her own course she had to be
devastated once more and by Bertha who not only had 95% cause to ruining Jane’s
wedding but also burning Thornfield to the ground. Mr. Rochester past, which he kept
with him unto his present, manages to spring forth and wreck havoc as it’s done in the
past and the hidden secret of Bertha Mason impacts Jane’s life significantly to the point
where it changes order of events to come in her life.



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Jane Eyre Book Report

Published: 23rd March, 2015 6th July, 2017

Disclaimer: This essay has been submitted by a student. This is not an example of the work written by our professional essay writers.

Any opinions, findings, conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of UK Essays.

Keywords: jane eyre book review essay, jane eyre bronte summary

The main character of the book is Jane Eyre (round character). The book follows her through her troubled childhood and life as a young woman. She is a gentle and intelligent girl, but she has no confidence in herself because she is raised by her aunt who does not love her. She has no family and is completely unprotected by social position. When the novel begins, she is an isolated, powerless ten-year-old girl who lives with her aunt and cousins who dislike her. As the novel progresses, she grows in strength. Jane Eyre slowly develops from an unhappy young girl learning the hardships of life, into a happy and contented woman. At the end of the novel, she has become a powerful, independent woman living together with the man she loves: Mr. Rochester.

Charlotte Brontë was born in 1816 in Thornton in Yorkshire, England. She was the third child of Patrick Brontë and Maria Branwell and was soon followed by her brother Patrick Branwell in 1817, her sister Emily in 1818 and her sister Anne in 1820. Her father was a poor English clergyman and was eccentric and abusive. In 1821 the family moved to Haworth, after her father find work at a church there. In the same year her mother dies of cancer. In 1824 Charlotte and three of her sisters were sent to study at the Clergy Daughter's School at Cowan Bridge. The conditions at the school were poor and they were treated with inhuman severity. The Lowood School in Jane Eyre was based on this school and Miss Scatcherd in the novel was based on the manager of the school. A fever broke out at the school and the girl returned home, but two of the sisters, Maria and Elizabeth, died of tuberculosis. The experience of Cowan Bridge and the loss of her sisters had an effect on Charlotte. With their father not communicating much with them and having no real contact with the outside world, the children spent their time reading and creating their own imaginary worlds.

When Charlotte was nineteen years old, she became a teacher. But because of her bad health, she had to give it up. She later worked watching over the children of wealthy families as a governess. But the people treated her poorly, so she had to give this up too. She decided then to attend a language school in Brussels with her sisters Emily and Anne and fell in love with a married professor at the school, but she never fully admitted the fact to herself.

After returning to Haworth in 1844, Charlotte Brontë became depressed. She was lonely and felt that she lacked the ability to do any creative work. She discovered that both of her sisters had been writing poetry, as she had. They decided to publish selected poems of all three sisters; in 1846 a collection of their was published under the pseudonyms of Currer (Charlotte), Ellis (Emily) and Acton (Anne) Bell. Charlotte contributed 19 poems.

Then they decided to each write a novel and to publish them. Her sisters' novels were accepted for publication, but Charlotte's first novel "The Professor", based upon her Brussels experience, was rejected and was not published until after her death.

Charlotte Brontë's second novel, Jane Eyre, was published in 1847. It became the most successful book of the year and it was translated into most of the languages of Europe.

Despite her success as a writer, Charlotte Brontë continued to live a quiet life in Yorkshire. In 1854 she married Arthur Nicholls, a man who had once worked as an assistant to her father, but she died within a year of their marriage on March 31, 1955.

Summary.

Jane Eyre is a young orphan being raised by Mrs. Reed, her cruel, wealthy aunt. A servant named Bessie provides Jane with some of the few kindnesses she receives, telling her stories and singing songs to her. One day, as punishment for fighting with her bullying cousin John Reed, Jane's aunt imprisons Jane in the red-room, the room in which Jane's Uncle Reed died. While locked in, Jane, believing that she sees her uncle's ghost, screams and faints. She wakes to find herself in the care of Bessie and the kindly apothecary Mr. Lloyd, who suggests to Mrs. Reed that Jane be sent away to school. To Jane's delight, Mrs. Reed concurs.

Once at the Lowood School, Jane finds that her life is far from idyllic. The school's headmaster is Mr. Brocklehurst, a cruel, hypocritical, and abusive man. Brocklehurst preaches a doctrine of poverty and privation to his students while using the school's funds to provide a wealthy and opulent lifestyle for his own family. At Lowood, Jane befriends a young girl named Helen Burns, whose strong, martyr like attitude toward the school's miseries is both helpful and displeasing to Jane. A massive typhus epidemic sweeps Lowood, and Helen dies of consumption. The epidemic also results in the departure of Mr. Brocklehurst by attracting attention to the insalubrious conditions at Lowood. After a group of more sympathetic gentlemen takes Brocklehurst's place, Jane's life improves dramatically. She spends eight more years at Lowood, six as a student and two as a teacher.

After teaching for two years, Jane yearns for new experiences. She accepts a governess position at a manor called Thornfield, where she teaches a lively French girl named Adèle. The distinguished housekeeper Mrs. Fairfax presides over the estate. Jane's employer at Thornfield is a dark, impassioned man named Rochester, with whom Jane finds herself falling secretly in love. She saves Rochester from a fire one night, which he claims was started by a drunken servant named Grace Poole. But because Grace Poole continues to work at Thornfield, Jane concludes that she has not been told the entire story. Jane sinks into despondency when Rochester brings home a beautiful but vicious woman named Blanche Ingram. Jane expects Rochester to propose to Blanche. But Rochester instead proposes to Jane, who accepts almost disbelievingly.

The wedding day arrives, and as Jane and Mr. Rochester prepare to exchange their vows, the voice of Mr. Mason cries out that Rochester already has a wife. Mason introduces himself as the brother of that wife - a woman named Bertha. Mr. Mason testifies that Bertha, whom Rochester married when he was a young man in Jamaica, is still alive. Rochester does not deny Mason's claims, but he explains that Bertha has gone mad. He takes the wedding party back to Thornfield, where they witness the insane Bertha Mason scurrying around on all fours and growling like an animal. Rochester keeps Bertha hidden on the third story of Thornfield and pays Grace Poole to keep his wife under control. Bertha was the real cause of the mysterious fire earlier in the story. Knowing that it is impossible for her to be with Rochester, Jane flees Thornfield.

Penniless and hungry, Jane is forced to sleep outdoors and beg for food. At last, three siblings who live in a manor alternatively called Marsh End and Moor House take her in. Their names are Mary, Diana, and St. John Rivers, and Jane quickly becomes friends with them. St. John is a clergyman, and he finds Jane a job teaching at a charity school in Morton. He surprises her one day by declaring that her uncle, John Eyre, has died and left her a large fortune: 20,000 pounds. When Jane asks how he received this news, he shocks her further by declaring that her uncle was also his uncle: Jane and the Rivers' are cousins. Jane immediately decides to share her inheritance equally with her three newfound relatives.

St. John decides to travel to India as a missionary, and he urges Jane to accompany him - as his wife. Jane agrees to go to India but refuses to marry her cousin because she does not love him. St. John pressures her to reconsider, and she nearly gives in. However, she realizes that she cannot abandon forever the man she truly loves when one night she hears Rochester's voice calling her name over the moors. Jane immediately hurries back to Thornfield and finds that it has been burned to the ground by Bertha Mason, who lost her life in the fire. Rochester saved the servants but lost his eyesight and one of his hands. Jane travels on to Rochester's new residence, Ferndean, where he lives with two servants named John and Mary.

At Ferndean, Rochester and Jane rebuild their relationship and soon marry. At the end of her story, Jane writes that she has been married for ten blissful years and that she and Rochester enjoy perfect equality in their life together. She says that after two years of blindness, Rochester regained sight in one eye and was able to behold their first son at his birth. [1]

Personal evaluation.

I think Jane Eyre is a very good novel, for its great theme, its moving plots and its happy ending. The story develops in a way that holds your interest as Jane meets Mr. Rochester and the secrets of Thornfield Hall are revealed. The characters are very realistic written and it's an exciting story, so I can recommend this novel to other people.

[1] = http://www.sparknotes.com/lit/janeeyre/summary.html

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jane_Eyre

http://summarycentral.tripod.com/janeeyre.htm

http://www.shmoop.com/jane-eyre/summary.html

http://www.sparknotes.com/lit/janeeyre/facts.html

Life is short, and it is here to be lived. Kate Winslet

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