Jane Eyre, compare and contras In the novel Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte, Jane encounters two men of considerable power that profoundly change her life. One man, Edmund Rochester, is the love of her life, however, he is in an unfortunate marriage with a savage woman. The second man, St. John Rivers, will not be able to fulfill Janes emotional needs and desires like Rochester can. Janes relationships with Rochester and St. John become evident by the settings in which they interact with each other. Through her comparisons and contrasts of characters and settings, Charlotte Bronte is able to guide the reader through the turbulent chapters of the novel that ultimately decide the fate of the title character, Jane Eyre. Charlotte Bronte uses settings to represent relationships and to interconnect events throughout the novel.
Thornfield is the primary setting because it is in the middle of the plot and it attributes structural unity to the novel (Napierkowski 172).
Thornfield is the ideal home for Jane in that every other place she has ever or will ever reside in is subject to comparison to the mansion. Moor House is Thornfields antithesis because Moor House is a place where Jane is cared for, whereas in Thornfield, she is one of the caretakers of Adele (Craik 10).
The teachers cottage that the Oliver family provides for Jane is also much different from Thornfield in that it offers the bare necessities of life; physical, mental, and emotional (Craik 10-1).
... century spurned female writers, Charlotte Bronte chose to work under the androgynous pseudonym Currier Bell. Jane Eyre was written in the ... Mr. Edward Rochester, stern, middle-aged master of Thornfield Manor. At Thornfield, Jane was comfortable with life – what with the grand ... existence of an impediment.” When asked for the facts, this man – a lawyer – produced a document proving that Rochester ...
Jane lived alone, with the exception of an occasional visitor, and had the simplest furnishings possible. In Thornfield, Jane had all of lifes luxuries at her fingertips; fine furnishings, agreeably nice companions, entertainment, and the love of her life were contained within the walls of the mansion.
Thornfield also differs from the Lowood Institution; in Thornfield, freedom and happiness are in its gardens and landscape whereas in Lowood, most of the images are of a more doleful and harsh demeanor (Craik 9).
The heartless and tasteless part of Thornfield, the drawing room, is associated with the drawing room at Gateshead (Craik 9).
The drawing room at Thornfield is where Rochesters upper class friends entertain themselves; Jane sits in the corner, and reads books, just as she did in the drawing room at Gateshead, where Aunt Reed and her cousins were considered to be of the upper class. Thornfield interconnects with the red room because the fairytales of [Janes] childhood seem to come to life (Auerbach 57).
The top story of Thornfield, Berthas secret residence, is on the same story that the red room at Gateshead is. Thornfield is similar to Gatesheads red room in more than one way.
There are many commonalties between Thornfield and the red room at Gateshead. The red room suggests violence [and] irrationality; these same characteristics are also in Thornfield (Mitchell 88).
The violence of Bertha Mason is a direct link to Janes memories of the red room. When Jane sees Bertha trying on her wedding veil late one night, Jane recalls the image she saw of herself in the red room the night that Aunt Reed forced her to stay there; Jane remembers her own image as being half fairy, half imp and Berthas image reminds her of the foul German spectra the Vampyre, who is also associated with fairies an imps (Auerbach 57).
The irrationality that connects Thornfield with the red room is Janes rash decisions. While she was in the red room, Jane indulges of the suicidal fantasy of forsaking food or drink (Ashe 181).
... a quiet, reserved period, Jane and Mr. Rochester ... , Jane enjoys much comfort and freedom at Thornfield. However she continues to experience restlessness and boredom until the arrival of Mr. Rochester. After ...
The thought of starving herself in the red room is irrational because a person cannot starve to death in a single night; Jane, however, does not attempt to act upon these thoughts.
While in Thornfield, Jane does act upon an irrational thought; the night after she discovers that Rochester is married to Bertha Mason, she leaves Thornfield in the middle of the night, and has nowhere to go. Jane and Rochesters relationship interconnects with trees, just as the red room and Thornfield interconnect. Trees and orchards are remarkably significant symbols of Jane and Rochesters relationship. When Jane and Rochester first acknowledge their love for one another, they are sitting amongst the trees in the orchard at Thornfield, and it is here that Rochester proposes to Jane. The fact that Rochester proposes in the orchard is significant because it represents the idea of the coming to fruition of their love, the conception of a Garden of Eden (Sherry 67).
From that moment forward, Jane is very much in love with Edmund Rochester. Before their parting from the orchard, however, lightning strikes a nearby chestnut tree, splits it in half, and burns it.
The splitting and subsequent charring of the tree foreshadows the inevitable parting of the lovers (Chase 50).
The chestnut tree also foreshadows Rochesters mutilation (Brophy 77).
The lightning splits the chestnut tree by means of fire, and Rochesters limb is lost because of his actions during the burning of Thornfield. Just as the orchard at Thornfield was ever present, the trees at Ferndean (Rochesters other residence) are of great importance. The house itself is hidden by the thick and darktimberof the gloomy wood about it (Napierkowski 174).
The trees at Ferndean are important because they represent Jane and Rochester’s relationship, and without the trees, their relationship would not be the same.
The trees assist them with communication. This becomes evident when Rochester tells Jane about his blindness. Rochester says that, with his blindness and lost limb, he is no better than the old lightning-struck chestnut tree in Thornfield orchard; Jane reassures him that he is green and vigorous and plants will grow about [his] rootsbecause [his] strength offers them so safe a prop” (Napierkowski 174).
Jane uses Rochester as a prop in the sense that she needs him to feel loved, thus, Jane and Rochester have an extremely complex relationship. Jane and Rochesters relationship is notably intricate. While the majority of novels use paradigms of beauty to represent the heroic figure, Bronte chooses to make Rochester unattractive.
... employer at Thornfield is Rochester, with whom Jane starts finding herself secretly falling secretly in love with. She saves Rochester from a fire one ... himself as the brother of that wife-a woman named Bertha. Rochester does not deny Mason's claims, but he explains that ... . One day as punishment for fighting with her bullying cousin John, Jane's aunt locked her in the room in which her ...
Rochesters unsightliness makes him an unconventional hero that suggests [that Rochesters] secret troubles and hidden strengths are more than skin deep (Napierkowski 168).
Since Rochester is a far cry from being the epitome of beauty, the reader[is able to see] that Jane is not attracted to him because of his looks but because she recognizes something good in his soul (Napierkowski 168).
The fact that Rochester has taken Adele into his care shows Jane that he is a caring man. Rochester attempts to include Jane in the activities that transpire in the drawing room, despite the fact that she is nowhere near being a member of the upper class. Rochesters inclusion of Jane is an immense change compared to the way the Reeds treated her while she was in the drawing room at Gateshead, where she became subject to incessant scrutinizing and ignoring. Jane likes Rochester because of a strange fascination, however, she is also repelled by his animalism (Chase 50).
The fact that Jane is disgusted, and at the same time intrigued, by Rochester helps explain her reactions towards him. At times, Jane exhibits meek submission towards Rochester, at others, she is flirtatious enough to keep her lover at bay (Chase 50).
Jane shows enough affection towards Rochester to let him know that she loves him, however, she does not show so much as to let him know that he is an irreplaceable part of her life. Janes actions towards Rochester can be attributed to the fact that she fears her own willingness to make a god of him; Jane does not want to become dependent on her lover (Mitchell 88).
Bertha Mason is a vital instrument in Janes fight to keep her independence. Bertha is Janes antithesis, and their actions towards Rochester are proof of their differed personalities (Rich 60).
Whereas Bertha is a person who has given herself blindlyto the principle of sex and intellect, Jane questions whether she can give herself to the Romantic Hero as easily as Bertha does, or if she herself should play the hero (Chase 50-1).
Just as Jane and Bertha are at opposite ends of the spectrum when it comes to their feelings and actions towards Rochester, St. John Rivers and Rochester are in the same position when it comes to Jane. Bronte uses images of fire and ice to contrast the characters of Rochester and St. John Rivers. According to Eric Solomon, [Janes] love must find a middle way between the flames of passion and the waters of pure reason (74).
... at Thornfield manor as a governess, and Jane quickly falls in love with her master, Mr. Rochester. His own appearance seems ugly to ... into two main categories: physical and mental. In the Charlotte Bronte's Jane Erye, the protagonist rejects by choice and submission, her ... two children in their education, and she befriends St. Johns Rivers. St. John wishes to be a missionary in the colonies, but ...
Jane, torn between Rochester and St. John Rivers, must decide whom she loves the most; this task should be relatively simple to overcome since Rochester and St.
John are opposites (Solomon 73).
Jane attempts to fulfill the love she lost during her childhood in her adult relationships (Ashe 180-1).
Because St. John is frozen over with an ice of reserve, Jane tends to distance herself from him because his icy demeanor reminds her of Aunt Reed (Solomon 73-4).
St. John also reminds Jane of Mr. Brockelhusrt because of his severe Christianity (Auerbach 58).
Rochester, on the other hand, is much different than St. John.
Jane and Rochester have a passionate love for each other. Because of St. Johns ice kisses, Jane reawakens to the glow of her and Rochesters love (Solomon 73-4).
It is because of St. Johns apathetic manner that Jane is reawakened to the passion she and Rochester share. St. John can put out fire, [and] destroy passion whereas Rochester has a fiery gleam in his eyes that easily rekindles passionate love (Solomon 73-4).
Ironically enough, it is a fire that re-ignites Jane and Rochesters romance.
Jane and Rochester reunite because of incredible circumstances. If Jane had not have left Rochester, she would have been committing adultery, however, if she would have stayed with St. John, she would have been doing an injustice to herself (Benvenuto 56).
Jane did not love St. John with the same passion that she loved Rochester. St. John wants to marry Jane for her influence, and not for love, therefore, Jane must purge her soul of the image of [serving St.
John] as she has purged her soul of the image of Bertha (Chase 51).
Because of Janes immense love of nature, it is easy for her to leave St. John and return to Rochester. Jane decides to commit to nature when she hears Rochesters voice calling from a distant place; she feels that the sound of his voice was the work of nature (Benvenuto 54-5).
Jane rushes to Thornfield only to discover that it lies in ruin. Rochester had to endure the torment of the fire alone because he needed to be purged by the fires long ago lit between himself and Bertha (Solomon 74).
... see this. Bronte theme of equality is given emphasis in this section of the novel. Both Mr Rochester and Jane are equally passionate ... happiness have been drained away. Even though she loved him and he genuinely loved her, her strong moral principles will not allow ... . I feel that this situation made Jane spiritually stronger, with the knowledge that she sacrifices her love for her moral code. Her ...
The fire that destroyed Thornfield has conveniently destroyed the legal impediment, [Bertha] (Brophy 77).
Berthas death liberated Rochester while, at the same time, constricted him. During the fire, Rochester goes blind and suffers the loss of a limb. In a sense, Rochester suffers the consequences of his previous actions because his injuries area symbolic castration because when Rochester had tried to make love to Jane, she felt a fiery hand grasp at her vitals; the hand, then, must be cut off (Chase 51).
When they first meet, Rochester must lean on Jane because he has fallen off of his horse and injured himself; at the end of the novel, Rochester must lean on Jane because he was injured in the fire, and cannot see (Solomon 73).
Thus, Jane and Rochesters relationship has gone full circle, just as Janes life has. Jane went from shunned to loved, shunned yet again, and loved once more.
In the end, Jane Eyre finally gets the loving relationship that she has been looking for all of her life. In the novel Jane Eyre, Charlotte Bronte cleverly compares and contrasts characters and settings to thicken the plot. Janes daunting childhood is a tool that enables Bronte to depict Thronfield with great vividness. Because St. John Rivers and Edmund Rochester are so different, it is easy for Jane to decide whom she will marry. Bronte eloquently uses the technique of foreshadowing events that are to occur in Jane Eyre, however, she did not predict the success of the novel. Approximate Word count = 2139 Approximate Pages = 9 (250 words per page double spaced) Bibliography Works Cited Ashe, Frederick L.
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Chase, Richard. Richard Chase on the Struggle between Jane Eyre and Rochester. Bloom 50- 52. Craik, W. A. The Shape of the Novel. Charlotte Brontes Jane Eyre. Modern Critical Interpretations.
... amp;docId=98110725>Bronte, Charlotte. Jane Eyre. 1847. New York: Random House, Inc., 2000.Clarke, Micael M. “Brontes Jane Eyre and the Grimms' ... person of her character can do. Heartbroken, Jane leaves Rochester's house (Bronte 478 – 480). With little money, she ... shared distrust of conventional social languages” (Bloom 101).The more time Jane and Rochester spend together, the more they feel ...
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