Themes in Jane Eyre 1

  • Created by: Pascale
  • Created on: 10-05-13 20:06
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  • Themes in Jane Eyre
    • Family
      • Reeds
        • Bessie
          • 'I was taken from Bessie's neck, to which I clung with kisses'
            • Bessie was more like family to Jane
            • Literal and emotional attachment
        • "...your benefactress's Son! Your young master."
          • Not 'brother' or 'cousin' - hierarchy within the family - Jane is an outsider
          • Not 'your aunt' - about money and not family
          • 'master' superior
        • '"If she [Mrs Reed] were to turn you off, you would have to go to the poor house"...these words...were not news to me: my very first recollections of existence included hints of the same kind'
          • Never had a family 'very first recollections'
          • Sounds like a threat 'hints'
        • "bad animal"
          • Jane not considered human or of the same kind
        • "You are  a dependent, mama says"
          • Considered separate from the family
          • Constantly reminded
        • 'Me, she had dispensed from the group'
          • 'Dispensed' undesirable, dispensable. Like you'd dispense of rubbish or something worthless.
          • 'The group' and 'me' separate. Not considered part of the family
      • Rochester
        • Adele
          • 'You have not quite forgotten little Adele, have you, reader?...she said she was not happy...I took her home with me.'
            • Jane didn't have real family - understands Adele
            • Perhaps feels that she (Jane) was forgotten as a child
        • Marriage and baby
          • "Reader, I married him."
            • Jane becomes independent and leaves her family (Rivers) to start her own family
              • Feminist readings
              • However, it was only because of a family inheritance that this was possible
            • Active voice - feminist reading
              • vs "I summon you as my wife" - Jane becomes independent and stronger
          • 'I have now been married ten years...I hold myself supremely blest'
      • Rivers
        • Gains a sense of belonging with the Rivers and then leaves - not dependent on family
          • But leaves to start her own family - maybe more interested in romantic love than family love
        • "Jane, I will be your brother - my sisters will be your sisters - without stipulating for this sacrifice of your rights."
          • Unconditional love
        • You three, then, are my cousins"
          • Biological as well as metaphorical family
        • '[St John] His own words are a pledge of this'
          • Bronte finishes novel talking about the Rivers, especially St. John - impact that they had on Jane
    • Social class
      • The Reeds
        • "It is your place to be humble"
          • Jane as an orphan - low in hierarchy. Position in society. Duty and place.
          • Taught the rules of class - instilled in her
        • "You are less than a servant"
          • Context - social classes more separate than in modern day
          • Jane is inferior to her cousins
          • No pity for Jane as an orphan - no sympathy
      • "Bronte illustrates the harmfulness of distinctions between class" - Erin Wells
      • Rochester
        • 'I thought he mocked me'
          • So unusual at the time for social classes to mix and marry
          • "Not a shilling but what you have given me"
            • Jane would be entirely dependent on Rochester
              • "Reader, I married him."
                • Becomes financially independent and can marry Rochester. Was this necessary?
            • Context - normal for women at the time
        • Blanche Ingram
          • "Honourable Blanche"
          • 'tall, dark, and majestic'
          • "my beautiful Blanche"
            • Despite all the qualities described and social class, Rochester really loved Jane. Marxist criticism
      • Daughters of impoverished gentry employed as governesses to lift children into higher classes. Educate them in academics and etiquette
      • "gorged with gold I never earned and do not merit"
        • Jane doesn't value material possessions
      • "The novel Jane Eyre exposes the tyranny of a capitalist society as the young woman meets with a variety of characters from a number of backgrounds and classes. These characters are doomed by their environments established by class division." - Charlie Smith
    • Setting
      • Nomenclature
        • Lowood
          • 'Low'
            • Jane is emotionally low
            • Jane is low in hiararchy here
            • put down
          • 'wood'
            • Strict, regimented discipline
            • Little flexibility
        • Gateshead
          • 'Gate'
            • Jane is trapped
          • 'Head'
            • Drives Jane to insanity e.g. incident in the Red-Room - Jane is mentally trapped and supressed - not sent to school and not allowed to read
        • Thornfield
          • 'Thorn'
            • Roses
              • Romance and love
              • Pain  - hurt from love
          • 'field'
            • eventual loneliness
            • desolate
          • Romanticism - nature
      • Thornfield
        • 'Eden-like'
          • Foreshadows that something will go wrong
          • First proposal from Rochester
        • 'In Thornfield meadows... how full the hedges are of roses!'
          • Love and romance
          • Nature - romanticism
          • Before declaring 'never had I loved him so well'
            • Foreshadows and reflects feelings
        • 'Tongues of flame darted round the bed: the curtains were on fire'
          • Passion for Rochester - bed place of **********
            • Suggesting that they can't be together romantically
            • Bertha's sabotage of their (Rochester and Jane's) relationship
          • Bertha tries to ruin Jane's prospects - can't see out of the window
        • 'the great horse-chestnut at the bottom of the orchard had been struck by lightning in the night, and half of it split away'
          • God and nature don't accept Rochester and Jane at this point (bigamy)
          • Foreshadows their separation
          • Pathetic fallacy
      • Gateshead
        • 'rain so penetrating'
          • Pathetic fallacy
          • Weather reflects Jane's mood - just before Jane's storm in the Red Room
        • 'There was no possibility of taking a walk that day'
          • Jane is trapped at Gateshead
          • Feels as though she is given few opportunities
        • 'Eliza, John and Georgiana were now clustered around their the fireside'
          • Jane is literally and figuratively separated from the Reeds
          • Feels she is treated coldly by the Reeds
        • 'clouds so sombre'
          • Jane's loneliness
          • Pathetic fallacy
        • 'leafless shrubbery'
          • lacking emotional nourishment at Gateshead like shrubbery is lacking leaves essential for nourishment
          • Winter, cold and bitter
        • The Red-Room
          • 'I suppose I had a species of fit'
            • Leads to a self-destructive state of mind
          • 'tabernacle' (bed)
            • Sacrifice
            • Size seems terrifying and disturbing to a child
          • 'deep red'
            • Gothic terrors
            • Blood
            • Reflects John Reed's violent actions which drew blood
      • Moor House
        • 'waves of mountains'
          • Jane can't see Thornfield past the mountains - separated from Rochester
      • The Pilgrim's Progress (book) - each place represents Jane's spiritual progress
    • Religion
      • Helen Burns
        • "Love your enemies; bless them that curse you; do good to them that hate you and despitefully use you."
          • Helen lives by this doctrine - her Christian virtue
          • "Then I should love Mrs. Reed which I cannot do; I should bless her son John, which is impossible."
            • "I had taken a journey of a hundred miles to see my aunt, and I must stay with her till she was better'
              • Jane learns from Helen and changes her mind
                • "Then I should love Mrs. Reed which I cannot do; I should bless her son John, which is impossible."
                  • "I had taken a journey of a hundred miles to see my aunt, and I must stay with her till she was better'
                    • Jane learns from Helen and changes her mind
          • "He is a clergyman and is said to do a great deal of good"
            • Helen is careful with her words here when describing Mr Brocklehurst who unfairly punished her
            • Bronte's criticism of religion? People conformed without agreeing?
          • 'Resurgam' (on Helen's grave)
            • She will rise again
            • Gave Jane faith
          • "There is an invisible world and a kingdom of spirits"
            • No doubt of her beliefs - conviction
        • St. John
          • 'pure-lived, conscientious, zealous'
            • All good things for an exemplary christian
          • "God did not give me my life to throw away" - Jane
            • Giving her life to St. John would be against God's wishes
            • Bronte's criticism of religion - was it really necessary and required?
          • 'He will sacrifice all to his long-framed resolves'
            • St. John willing to sacrifice his emotions to be a missionary and serve God
          • '"I can but die" I said, "and I believe in God. Let me try to wait His will in silence."'
            • Capital H on 'His' - fear in God
            • Proclaims her faith - not a disbelief in God but a belief that her life doesn't have to be dedicated to God
            • Wants to do what God wants but believes she knows that he wants her to be happy
          • "God had an errand for me"
            • St. John's position lies not with his feelings but with God
            • Duty
          • '"Oh! I will give my heart to God," I said. "You do not want it."'
            • Jane knows that St. John was in a way using her
        • Mr Brocklehurst
          • "Do you know where the wicked go after death?"
            • Uses religion as a threat rather than an incentive
          • "what is that girl with curled hair?...Why, in defiance of every precept and principle"
            • 'ladies... elaborately curled...false front of French curls...Mrs. and the Misses Brocklehurst.'
              • Hypocritical view of religion - used religion as a tool rather than a way of life
                • "what is that girl with curled hair?...Why, in defiance of every precept and principle"
                  • 'ladies... elaborately curled...false front of French curls...Mrs. and the Misses Brocklehurst.'
                    • Hypocritical view of religion - used religion as a tool rather than a way of life
            • "Mr. Brocklehurst is not a god"
              • Rules the school and the pupils as though he is a god and they are his subjects
          • Jane
            • 'for liberty I gasped; for liberty I uttered a prayer'
              • Seems as though Jane only uses religion when it's convenient to her
            • 'God directed me to a correct choice'
              • Conventional idea that God directs away from sin
              • Happier for it - stability of religion
            • "God is my father; God is my friend: I love Him; I believe he loves me'
              • Jane's most spiritual experience in the novel
        • Gothic
          • The Red-Room
            • 'chamber'
              • An enclosed space - captivity
                • "Lock her in the red-room"
            • 'deep red' 'crimson'
              • Blood - reminder of uncle's death
              • Images of terror and violence
            • 'chill'
              • Lifeless - death
              • Eerie
            • 'Mr. Reed had been dead nine this chamber...and since that day, a sense of dreary conscecration had guarded it from frequent intrusion.'
              • Others too scared to go in it
              • Guarded - personified, room vs Jane
          • Bertha
            • The Mad Woman in the Attic
            • 'Grace Poole's laugh...slow ha! ha!...thrilled me... eccentric murmurs; stranger than her laugh
              • Chilling
              • 'eccentric' - madness
            • "She bit me" (Mason)
              • Vampire
              • Jane Eyre written 50 years before Dracula but similar interests
            • 'The night...was rent in twain by a savage, a sharp, a shrilly sound'
              • Pain
              • Fear
            • 'The maniac bellowed'
              • Supernatural
                • "It is not in mortal discretion to fathom her craft"




      A very detailed mind map that identifies the main themes; the ideas highlighted are relevant and useful and used alongside direct references to the text could be a very helpful revision tool. Use in conjunction with Themes in Jane Eyre 2.



      Thank you for this, the more mind maps like this the better, especially to this level of detail helps so much 



      these revisions things are bomb alright bUT I CANT EVEN PRINT IT IS SO SMAll. make it printable desperate for ths my exams real soon 



      please make this printable in A4 size PLEASE!!!!!! the writing is EXTRA TINY!  

      the actual revision guide is good but pease increase the size of the writing

      many thanks...



      this isn't helpful AT ALL!!! ha lol



      hi, has anyone used an Audio App ? Someone suggested to me that this may be helpful, as it’s not my choice of book to study tbh, so finding it hard to absorb .

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