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Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte is a very complex novel that embodies many different genres. It conveys a variety of writing styles that create different atmospheres and attitudes. From romance with many of the male characters in the novel to dark, mysterious, and sinister parts of the story, Jane Eyre is a collection of three extremely important writing styles, Romance, Gothic, and Victorian.
Jane Eyre is a novel overflowing with social criticism and features the anti Victorian heroine Jane, who grows up and matures in a very Victorian World.
A Victorian woman of the time would have simply accepted Rochester’s offer to leave and lead an easygoing and private life, something Jane is completely against. This does not make Jane cold hearted or callus, it just shows her independence and fierceness has a strong and courageous woman. Janes view of the feminine obligations of the time are displayed in the quote, “Life appears to me too short to be spent in nursing animosity or registering wrongs.
” (Chapter 6) Throughout the novel Jane Eyre fights against these obligations and along with social ones as well. Rochester also expresses some characteristics that were against the norm for the time. In chapter 24 he states, “To women who please me only by their faces, I am the very devil when I find out they’ve neither souls nor hearts – where they open up to me a perspective of flatness, triviality, and, perhaps imbecility, coarseness, an ill-temper.” This quote shows how Rochester does not like the social standing of women of the time and how they are tough and raised to act.
This may also be why he has love for Jane.
The topic of love moves to the next genre that is romance. As mentioned the primary source of this romance originates from the passionate love Jane and Edward Rochester have for one another, thus this novel can be easily classified as a romantic novel. Although for much of the novel Jane and Rochester are not seen together in this way, their relationship is the basis for almost everything that happens when Jane begins her adult life and leaves Lowood. The quote on chapter 15 shows the bond between the two lovers and the connection they have, “The ease of his manner freed me from in for restraint; the friendly frankness, as correct as cordial, with which he treated me, drew me to him.” From the beginning of the novel Rochester’s always there for her, throughout the story there is intense expression of emotion to add to the effect of Romanticism. Furthermore alike to St. John, Jane’s love belongs to somebody else and she uses detailed imagery to show express her feelings and refer to him as “a stranger – un-sympathizing alien” (Chapter 33) and refuses his proposal. Women in the 18th century were expected to marry in order to make something of themselves as they had been given no other role to play in society, Jane fights against these unjust stereotypes and pursues her beloved Mr Rochester which is a major part of the romantic plot.
There are many Gothic elements used in this novel, from the Red Room in the beginning to Rochester’s Grand secret, to the burnt remains of a mansion in the end. They’re all sinister and dark aspects of the story, used in a variety of different ways. The Red Room is very significant because Jane’s uncle had died in it. After being locked up by her Aunt, Jane hear strange noises and the suspense is almost unbearable. There’s incredible tension in this scene due to the superstitious wondering if Janes imprisoned mind. “Singular notion dawned upon her…” Jane believes the room is haunted by her dead uncle. “…I thought Mr. Reeds spirit, harrassed by the wrongs of his sister’s child, might quit his abode and rise before me in the chamber.” Those quotes provide the scene with it gothic elements.
All of these three elements and genres contribute to the definition and character of the novel. These three important genres define this novel and portray the ideas and events the author has written.
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