In our world, there are many people who express their thoughts and feelings by art. For artists, painting is a way to explore their inner self and lets them express their emotional world. In Jane Eyre, Charlotte Bronte uses the paintings and drawings created by Jane at different points to show Jane’s suffering, her realism and her romanticism.
In Chapter 13, Jane makes a watercolour painting that expresses her childhood suffering at Gateshead and at Lowood.
In her painting, there are “clouds low and vivid, rolling over a swollen sea: all the distance was in eclipse… for there was no land.” This suggests that she sees herself as a wretch, unimportant and meaningless, just feeling as if there is no hope for her no matter how hard she searches. However, there is a greedy seed bird that sat on a “half-submerged mastits beak held a gold bracelet, set with gems” that she painted with a variety of colours.
Jane is saying that there might be a chance when she obtains freedom and peace. As a child, Jane was always mistreated and never had any independence. In her artwork, the bird represents freedom because it can go anywhere just like how Jane imagines her life. The painting takes another shift when something sinking below the bird and the pole was a “drowned corpse” that flashed though the “green water.”
She is comparing herself to a dead body because she views herself as being useless and hopeless.
She is doleful because there were many cruel people in her life that always thought negatively about her. In both Lowood and Gateshead, she had been treated unfairly and harshly. The only thing that is visible is a “fair arm” from which the”bracelet had been washed or torn.” The bracelet represents Mr. Rochester andwhen the bracelet washes away it shows that Jane will never be with Mr. Rochester. In addition, this also depicts that all of Jane’s hopes and dreams have been washed away.