Bronte's Jane Eyre by Zoe Brennan

By Zoe Brennan

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Extra info for Bronte's Jane Eyre

Sample text

Passion is bridled to morality as Brontë attempts to include it in the realm of the everyday. So the novel can also be said to take a realist stance, presenting the domestic and the ordinary. Certainly the anxieties and hopes that Jane expresses are not just to do with the wildly romantic or sinister. For instance. the extraordinary figure of Bertha threatens Jane’s equilibrium but before that so too did the humdrum nature of life at Lowood. Equally, while she wants a relationship with the Byronic Rochester, she is also happy to spend time studying with her cousins Diana and Mary.

Romance Before discussing Brontë’s engagement with popular genres of the day, it is important to consider the two broader types of writing that interweave throughout the text, the romantic and the realistic. The romantic, concerned with life’s more extraordinary moments, including the passionate, is represented by Jane and Rochester’s relationship, which for many readers is the novel’s most memorable element. Their bond can be explained as a version of the Freudian oedipal triangle. Jane desires the much older, symbolic father figure Rochester who she cannot marry until the mother-figure, Bertha, is destroyed.

Gothic Gothic literature often refers to the fairy tale and shares its interest in exploring humanity’s terrors and desires. It emerged as a genre in Britain in the late eighteenth century and was inaugurated by novels such as Horace Walpole’s The Castle of Otranto: A Gothic Story (1765) and Ann Radcliffe’s The Mysteries of Udolpho (1794). Jane Eyre contains Gothic settings, for instance, the sinister house and lonely moonlit moors, and plays with Gothic tropes, such as the incarcerated and mad wife.

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