Characters in Jane Eyre

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  • Created by: Pascale
  • Created on: 11-05-13 16:22
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  • Characters in Jane Eyre
    • Bertha
      • 'a sharp, a shrilly sound'
        • Out of control, monstrous
        • Is Bertha a less suppressed Jane? Warning  her?
      • 'a fearful shriek' (caused by Bertha)
        • Warning Jane and acting as her hindsight?
      • 'it'
        • 'Bertha is merely a tool for Bronte as a dramatic narrative device - Jane's doppelgaenger
          • Bronte doesn't develop Bertha too deeply and instead just uses her. Insignificant as a character, did Bronte really share society's views?
        • At the time, people with psychological problems were not understood - not considered real people with feelings
        • Possessed? Evil?
      • "a filthy burden...the maniac"
        • Treated as disgusting yet in comparison she was once...
          • "a fine woman...tall, dark and majestic... splendidly dressed"
            • Bronte commenting on the little sympathy felt for those with mental illnesses. Once human, then just a 'thing'
      • 'The clothed hyena rose up and stood tall on its hind feet'
        • 'hyena' - scavenger, violent
        • Dangerous, viscious
        • Dehumanised. A wild animal, not tamable, uncontrollable
      • 'she showed virile force'
        • Bertha is the physical equivalent of men whereas Jane is the intellectual
        • Sexual connotations?
      • "Bertha Antoinette Mason"
        • Never really considered Rochester's wife. Object to animal
        • Rochester's disbelief and denial of the situation?
      • 'This wound was not done with a knife: there have been teeth here!'
        • Gothic, animalistic, vampire, viscious
        • Hungry for human interaction?
      • "She sucked the blood: she said she'd drain my heart"
        • If Bertha isn't happy, nobody can be
        • Bertha's heartless too?
        • "Vampyre"
      • The Mad Woman in the Attic - Gilbert and Gubar
        • ‘Bertha is still another – indeed the most threatening – avatar of Jane’ - Gilbert and Gubar
        • "Bertha not only acts for Jane, she also acts like Jane’ Bertha is found running “forwards and backwards” in the attic on all fours which links to Jane relieving mental pain by pacing “forwards and backwards" - Gilbert and Gubar
      • ‘”the novelist who consciously or unconsciously exploits psychological doubles” - Clare Rosenfield
      • “two characters, the one representing the socially acceptable or conventional personality, the other externalising the free, uninhibited, often criminal self”’
      • ”May not Bertha...be a living example of what happens to the woman who [tries] to be the fleshly vessel of the [masculine] élan?” - Richard Chase
      • Bertha is locked up in a room for years
        • "like a mad cat"
          • Bertha is Jane's doppelgaenger, alter ego
            • "like some wild animal"
        • Jane is locked in the red-room for minutes
          • "like some wild animal"
      • Bertha is insane, Jane hears voices. Could Jane end up like Bertha for the same reason?
    • St. John
      • St John Rivers
        • Nomenclature - John is a biblical name. He is not a saint but thinks he is nearly one - mocking perhaps?
        • John
          • Disciple
          • Devotes life to God
        • St
          • Religiously superior
          • Place of refuge for Jane - savior - many pray to saints
        • Rivers
          • Puts out fire - anti passion. Fire and ice
      • "He will sacrifice all to his long-framed resolves" - Diana
        • Puts God before his emotions, devotion
        • Single/closed minded
      • 'a statue instead of a man'
        • Cold, still, heartless, passionless
        • Shown in how he dismisses his feelings for Rosamond
      • 'his lips mutely sealed'
        • Socially awkward, can't get to know Jane.
          • This is why Jane knows that St. John can never love her
      • "God had an errand for me...a missionary I resolved to be"
        • His calling, he has to do it
        • Errand - mundane, needs to be done
      • "My vocation is dearer than the blood in my veins"
        • Part of who he is
        • Couldn't give it up for anybody - needs it
      • 'Mr St. John spoke almost like an automaton'
        • Can't express feelings to Miss Rosamond if he's to fulfill his religious ambitions
        • Puts God ahead of himself
      • "St. John is the emotional unich" - Adrienne Rich
        • Emotionally castrated and unavailable
      • "You shall be mine: I claim you" St. John to Rochester
        • Jane turns this down - feminist readings would perhaps say that this is Bronte defying social conventions of how women were supposed to act
      • On Jane's pilgrimage she finds refuge at Moor House
      • "I owe...to your evangelical charity" - Jane Eyre
        • St. John saves Jane physically, like refuge on her pilgrimage
        • St. John tries to give Jane spiritual salvation too
      • "enough of love would follow upon marriage"
        • Functional
    • Rochester
      • "For me to be your wife is, for me, to be as happy as I can be on earth" - Jane
        • Jane has found her heaven on earth with Rochester
      • '"Good-night, my-" He stopped, bit his lip, and abruptly left me.'
        • 'my' possessive pronoun
        • 'bit his lip' physically stops himself expressing his feelings
        • 'abruptly left me' could foreshadow Jane and Rochester's separation
      • "I envy your peace of mind, your clean conscience, your unpolluted memory. Little girl, a memory without blot of contamination must be an exquisite treasure-an inexhaustible source of pure refreshment: is it not?"
        • Poses Qs, adds a sense of mystery to him - byronic hero
        • 'exquisite treasure....' idea of how women were expected to be
        • 'Little girl' - patronising
        • 'your unpolluted memory' - ironic, retrospective novel written from Jane's memory
      • "But I don't mean to flatter you: if you are cast in a different mould to the majority, it is no merit of yours: Nature did it."
        • Nurtured to be a typical female - balance of nature and nurture
        • Outspoken
      • "I am used to say, 'Do this,' and it is done"
        • Used to being obeyed
        • His place in society
        • Jane is a shock to him - doesn't conform to this
      • "You must just stand on one side" (At point where they first meet)
      • 'I could see him plainly'
        • Foreshadows how close they will be and how well they will get to know each other
      • "he has a gentleman's tastes and habits"
        • Made clear to Jane that Rochester is of another class
    • Jane
      • "Jane I don't like cavillers or questioners"
        • The first outside impression that the reader gets of Jane is a negative one
  • Bertha is insane, Jane hears voices. Could Jane end up like Bertha for the same reason?

Comments

noor

Addition of critical interpretations made this post perfect! Could have developed Jane a little more, but in a way it's good otherwise I wouldn't have done a lot of the work by myself! 

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