Using Jane Eyre page 171 as your starting point, from “I, indeed, talked comparatively little” to “suppose he should be absent spring, summer, and autumn: how joyless sunshine and fine rays will seem! ” on page 172, explore the methods which writers use to present romantic love. A romance novel is one which focuses on the developing romantic relationship between two individuals. Its main plot may involve romantic suspense – struggles that associate with obtaining each other’s affections. The novel is often narrated by a female protagonist, whose description of emotions and feelings are very vivid, using a lot of imagery.
Setting is an important aspect of the romance novel and is often used to portray the character’s feelings or moods. The novels are very emotional and are designed to evoke some sort of emotion (sympathy, sadness or joy) from the reader. They usually end with the characters being united and having a promising future. Charlotte Bronte’s Jane Eyre features many of these characteristics and Bronte presents romantic love in different ways, using different methods.
Although the novel can fall into other genres, such as the Gothic or Romantic, the love between her and Mr Rochester is the core.
The novel follows the growing and developing protagonist, whose need to be loved and valued is reinforced throughout the novel. Jane is a very unconventional heroine, and has unconventional views about love and marriage. Bronte uses Jane Eyre as a surrogate in order to express and present her views about love.
To the Victorian reader, her views may have been rather shocking and inappropriate. Bronte challenges the Victorian idea of wealth, class and connections being the most important aspects to be considered when choosing a partner.
She suggests that two individuals must marry for love rather than anything else and that if one is truly in love, they will feel connected to the other. She instils this idea into her protagonist, Jane, who feels, “as if he [Mr Rochester] were my relation rather than my master. ” Jane’s known relatives have always treated her badly and she has only got miserable memories to look back on. However, “relations” are supposed to be a comfort to an individual and Jane realises this. In Mr Rochester, Jane recognises this ideal “relation” and feels a connection with him.
Bronte bases Jane’s love for Rochester mainly on a mental and emotional connection, rather than physical attraction. It is Rochester’s “friendly frankness” which “drew me [Jane] to him,” unlike Blanche Ingram, who was only interested in his wealth. By using this unconventional heroine, Bronte presents her unconventional idea of love and challenges the conventions of the Victorian society. Bronte also gives her characters telepathic qualities to show that love is beyond human control or understanding. Jane “cannot deny that I grieved for his grief.
” This suggests that her feelings and thoughts reflect Mr Rochester’s, reinforcing their strong mental connection. This idea is highlighted again later on in the novel, when Jane hears Mr Rochester’s voice from miles away. Not only does this show their telepathic and almost supernatural connection; it also shows that love is beyond human understanding. Bronte makes her surrogate fall in love with a Byronic character to emphasize that love must be realistic. She does this by showing that despite his faults, Jane and loves Mr Rochester.
She admits that he was “proud, sardonic, harsh to inferiority of every description… ” and yet she “saw that it was his way. ” Bronte stresses the importance of mutual understanding in a relationship and makes it the most significant quality in a relationship. The fact that she creates an unattractive hero rather than a handsome one shows that one doesn’t have to be beautiful to be loved. Although Jane thinks Rochester is ugly at first, she is still attracted to him and eventually she admits that “his presence was more cheering than the brightest fire.
” Fire is often used to show passion and Jane’s strong feelings for Mr Rochester. Jane later directly addresses her connection with him: “though rank and wealth serve us widely, I have something in my brain and heart,… blood and nerves, that assimilates me mentally to him” “Brain… heart… blood and nerves” all show that her connection with Mr Rochester is natural. Just as these things are created by God, she suggests that love is also a blessing from God and that one cannot control who one falls in love with.
As mentioned before, it is clear from this that Bronte intends to present love as something that is based on reality, personality and emotional attachment rather than wealth or physical attraction. Setting is used throughout the novel to depict the protagonist’s emotions or mood. The parallelism of the weather to the character’s mood is apparent. Jane seems to be in a pleasant mood whenever something good happens between her and Mr Rochester, and likewise the weather is pleasant. For example, on the day after her engagement to Mr Rochester, the June morning is “brilliant” with a “fresh and fragrant breeze.
” She appreciates the beautiful weather and seems to make the most out of it. This reflects her feelings: she feels new and brilliant at being united with the man she loves. However, when he is separated from her for a short time on the day before their wedding, there is “wind and rain,” reflecting her unhappiness at his departure. Jane muses about “how joyless sunshine and fine days will seem” without Mr Rochester. Jane’s passionate love for Mr Rochester is highlighted by showing that not even nature can make her happy when he is not with her; that she needs Mr Rochester in order to be happy.
Bronte uses setting to reinforce the strength of love between her characters. Jane Eyre contains lots of vivid imagery and Bronte uses this to present the passionate love between Jane and Mr Rochester. This is illustrated by the chestnut tree that is struck by lightning and splintered shortly after their engagement. While foreshadows Jane and Rochester’s separation, it also shows the affect that the separation is going to have. Just as the tree is split in two and can never recover from the damage caused, the separation of Jane and Mr Rochester also has some lasting effect.
Just as the tree cannot be the same after it has been separated, Jane and Rochester cannot be happy without each other. Bronte suggests that true love cannot be separated for too long, and that the separation will cause great pain and damage. Bronte is successful in presenting her ideas about love and the methods used are interesting. Jane Eyre a story of romantic love and it conveys some rather unconventional ideas about this topic. Bronte manipulates language and uses imagery to reinforce the strong emotions experienced alongside love.
She also uses setting to represent certain feelings and her manipulation of characters assists her in putting forward her point. She shows that love can be a pleasant feeling and outlines the aspects which people should focus on when choosing a partner. Her main point is that people must love each other for their personalities and attachment as opposed to physical characteristics or wealth. Bronte also shows that separation from the person one loves can be painful and can cause lasting damage.
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