Deeper Meanings Jane Eyre (Ongoing theme of fire and ice (Fire has been…
Deeper Meanings Jane Eyre
Significance of Bertha Mason
It is possible to see Bertha as a double for Jane, or a 'foil' who
what Jane feels
—especially since the externalization of interior sentiment is a trait common to the Gothic novel.
Jane's allusions to her "madness" and "insanity" bring out a parallel between Jane and Bertha Mason. - '
mad - as I am now'
Bertha, whose oppressed, suppressed and neglected conditions turn to madness and fury, may be a symbol for the imprisoned female's condition in this time period. -
'they suffer from too rigid a restraint'
Christianity represented in different forms
Jane encounters many representations and types
Mr Brocklehurst is represented as the worst form of Christianity. Him and his family live in luxury whilst the Lowood girls are poor and neglected. He is also cruel.
You must be on your guard against her; you must shun her... avoid her... exclude her... and shut her out.
Helen Burns as the portrayal of the absolute forgiveness and tolerance in Christianity
However Helen constantly suffers punishments and then dies
By dying young I shall escape great sufferings
I rely implicitly on His power
God is my father, God is my friend
love your enemies
Passionless form - St John
St. John practices a Christianity of utter piousness, righteousness, and principle to the exclusion of any passion.
you are formed for labour not love
I claim you - not for my pleasure, but for my sovereign's service
Ongoing theme of fire and ice
The motifs of fire and ice permeate the novel from start to finish. Fire is presented as positive, creative, and loving, while ice is seen as destructive, negative, and hateful.
the cruel or detached characters, such as Mrs. Reed and St. John, are associated with ice
the warmer characters, such as Jane, Miss Temple, and Mr. Rochester, are linked with fire
Fire has been positive when:
Jane burns Helen's humiliating "Slattern" crown
when Bertha sets fire to Mr. Rochester’s bed curtains and then to Thornfield Manor.
The first of Bertha’s fires brings Jane and Mr. Rochester into a more intimate relationship, while the second destroys Thornfield and leads to Bertha's death, thus liberating Rochester from his shackled past.
Although the fire also blinds Rochester, this incident helps Jane see that he is now dependent on her and erases any misgivings she may have about inequality in their marriage.