This essay sample essay on Gothic Elements In Jane Eyre offers an extensive list of facts and arguments related to it. The essay’s introduction, body paragraphs and the conclusion are provided below.
I believe that the gothic novel tradition has indeed influenced the novel that is Jane Eyre. Most gothic novels contain supernatural encounters, remote locations, complicated family childhood, ancient monad homes, dark secrets, suspense and a successful conclusion. The story contains the majority of these elements. The romantic section in the novel has a fairytale theme; this is quite common if the story is to follow the gothic tradition.
We meet the Byronic hero ‘Mr Rochester’ and therefore we expect a damsel in distress but Jane never presents herself in this manner.
In fact, it is she who rescues ‘Mr Rochester’ and Jane becomes the heroin. ‘He laid a heavy hand on my shoulder and leaning on me with some stress, limped on to his horse. Soon afterwards, Mr Rochester and Jane fall deeply in love with one another, but due to the gothic tradition, there must be someone or something that must block Jane from achieving true happiness.
According to the gothic tradition, good will overcome evil. We are not sure what evil Jane will have to overcome but it appears in the form of Bertha. Bertha is indeed a true gothic character.
The only place in Thornfield where Jane is forbidden to explore is the third floor of the mansion. This gives suspense and curiosity to find out what or who is in the third floor.
At first, it seems that the servant Grace Poole is this person but soon afterwards, it is Bertha. The gytrash is in fact Mr. Rochester dog in the novel. This great northern -english loyal companion gives a supernatural theme. ‘ It was exactly one form of Bessie’s Gytrash’ The moon plays a key role in the whole novel as it is thought of as a mystical, magical creation and it seems to always appear when a chapter is about to open in Jane’s life.
Before leaving Thornfield in order to seek a good education at Lowood, the moon appears. ‘ The moon was set, an it was very dark. ‘ The moon gives a very gothic symbol to the story. In the majority of Victorian, gothic novels there are usually frequent murder attempts on either the main character(s) or a meaningful person that gives hope and joy to the main character. In the novel the murder, attempts are on Jane. ‘ My wedding dress and veil stood open, ” Sophie? ” I cried. A form emerged from the closet: it took the light and observed my garments… nd then my blood crept cold through my veins.
Mr Rochester, this was neither Sophie nor Leah, it was not Mrs Fairfax: it was not even that strange girl Grace Poole. ‘ ‘It was a great woman with long brown hair and I shivered just looking at her. ‘ The pair, Mr Rochester and Jane continue this conversation on how this strange woman had a dagger and how frightful her face and body looked. However, Mr Rochester gives repeated excuses on who this woman was. We are given a premonition that either Mr Rochester knows whom this women was or that he had some part in it.
Most gothic novels also have remote locations that are full of unhappiness and great darkness/evil. In the story, we are given three examples of this, which are Gateshead, Lowood and Thornfield and at these places Jane find distress and heartbreak. While Jane is staying at Gateshead with her cousins and aunt, The Reed family she is mocked and punished for no reason whatsoever. This creates a permanent emotional scar throughout Jane’s life. At Gateshead, Jane is not accepted as part of the family but is tormented, as she believes happiness will never exist for her in her lifetime.
This also tells us that Jane had an unhappy childhood Mr Brocklehurst takes advantage of Jane, as she is less powerful even tough she had more passion. He makes her isolated and to be made a fool of so her friendship with Helen Burns seems an unlikely event to happen. While at Thornfield working as a governess she and Mr Rochester are about to marry, however on the wedding it is interrupted by Mason and his solicitor. They both claim that Mr Rochester already has a living wife. This wife is the terrifying figure the Jane saw in her bedroom and who seemed to try to murder her.
There is a lot of suspense as the reader is curious to find out whom this strange character is. This character is Bertha. Bertha stands in the way of love between Jane and Mr Rochester as long as she lives. In the Victorian age, someone who had an affair was seen as an evil spirit but divorce was also frowned upon so that was not an option either. It seemed as though the marriage and their love would never be seen through. There is frequent suspense in the story and there are two good examples of this.
Bertha whom I have mentioned earlier and when Jane is locked in the red room as a child for a punishment. ‘A ghostly figure stood before me’ here she seems to have seen her uncle’s ghost whom died before Jane came to live at Gateshead. This gives three main elements. Terror, the thought of seeing a ghost, Suspense what will happen next while the ghost is still in the red room and a super natural encounter for Jane. Blood acts as both a physical entity and a love entity in ‘Jane Eyre. ‘ Why the obsession with blood? This is all due to the gothic style writing.
There is another novel that is nearly entirely to do with blood. This novel is of course the famous story of Dracula. Perhaps Charlotte Bronte got the idea to use blood in ‘ Jane Eyre’ by seeing how successful it was in Dracula. This remains a mystery unsolved. The blow passage is taken from an English review of Jane Eyre: ‘ Blood acts as a physical entity and when spilled it indicates that a boundary has been crossed. When Jane is hit by her cousin with a book she bleeds from the head, her torment has endured to long so she fights back.
While striking John Reed, she was caught and punished. In the red room, she fells primal feelings, jealousies, rages, deprivations and especially hatred towards the household members. Later in Jane Eyre, blood is a symbol of depravity; love craving out of control and it is spilled in the supposedly unnatural attempt of Bertha to assert her. Locked up in the attic of Rochester’s mansion her lips full of blood, gives a symbol of sensuality ant twist, Bertha awaits the opportunities she fights for to express her carnality. She always does so by drawing blood.
Compare these eyes with red blood eyes yonder. ‘ The clear eyes are Jane, the red eyes Bertha’s. This tells us that Jane with the clear eyes seems to be good but Bertha with the red eyes seems evil. This extract gives us a clear view of what blood is all about in the novel. For me the ending is quite childishly written, however most gothic novels end with harsh and difficult decision. Jane is torn between loves with St. John Rivers and Mr Rochester. With St John rivers she can live a happy life but it seems that Jane will never feel true love if she makes this decision.
With Mr Rochester, she can experience true love but she will be restful at the fact she is being unholy by marrying Mr Rochester while Bertha still lives. It is St John Rivers Vs Mr Rochester. Conveniently, a fire kills Bertha but Mr Rochester survives at a cost of his eyesight, but Jane still feels love for him. This ending was rushed in my view. I believe there should have been a lot more thought put into the final stages of the novel rather than see this fairytale, happy ending which exists today.