Jane Eyre Lecture 4 The Gothic.pptx - LECTURE 4 Gothic...

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Gothic Elements in Jane EyreLECTURE 4
GOTHIC ELEMENTSBertha as Jane’s DoppelgangerSymbolism of the Looking-GlassThe Motifs of Dreams and PicturesGothic Setting of the Red Room and ThornfieldThe Motif of the SupernaturalFortune-tellingClarivoyant CallsCreate underlying tension, anxiety, suspense, mystery, fear and horror
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BERTHA AS JANE’S DOPPELGANGERBertha is referred to as ‘the foul German spectre’, ‘the vampyre’, ‘a demon’ and ‘a witch’, each of which is a traditional figure of deviance with its own history in folkloreNot only is Bertha associated with deviance, the novel provides many clues that she is Jane’s dark doubleIndeed, we see the ‘mad cat’ and ‘bad animal’ (terms that John Reed calls Jane at Gateshead) reappearing later as the insane and animalistic Bertha Mason‘Bertha Mason is mad, and she came of a mad family’ (292)‘What it was, whether beast or human being, one could not, at first sight, tell: it grovelled, seemingly on all fours; it snatched and growled like some strange wild animal’ (293)
BERTHA AS JANE’S DOPPELGANGERThe novel seems to suggest that Bertha is a manifestation of the angry orphan child that Jane has been trying to repress ever since her days at GatesheadBertha’s fiery nature – ‘No servant would bear the continued outbreaks of her violent and unreasonable temper’ (306) // Jane’s rebellious tirade at Mrs Reed at Gateshead – ‘Shaking from head to foot, thrilled with ungovernable excitement, I continued: ‘I am glad you are no relation of mine, I will never call you aunt again as long as I live’ (36)
BERTHA AS JANE’S DOPPELGANGERThe suggestion then is that if Jane does not control her passions, she will become another ‘Bertha’, an animalistic, monstrous womanBertha runs ‘backwards and forwards’ on all fours in the attic (293)// Jane paces ‘backwards and forwards’ in the corridor of the third story (109)Rochester talks about the ‘fearful voyage [he] had with such a monster in the vessel’ (309)// Jane questions her own sense of identity – ‘am I a monster?’ (265)
BERTHA AS JANE’S DOPPELGANGERIn this manner, Jane’s confrontation with Bertha is an encounter with her own imprisoned rebellion and rageNot only does Bertha parallel Jane, Bertha’s imprisonment in Thornfield parallels Jane’s imprisonment in the Red RoomMore significantly, the looking glass in both Thornfield and the Red Room becomes a symbol worth exploring
BERTHA AS JANE’S DOPPELGANGERThe looking glass in the Red Room:‘Returning, I had to cross before the looking-glass; my fascinated glance involuntarily explored the depth it revealed. All looked colder and darker in that visionary hollow than in reality: and the strange little figure there gazing at me, with a white face and arms specking the gloom, and glittering eyes of fear moving where all else was still, had the effect of a real spirit’ (14)The looking glass in the Attic:‘she took my veil from its place; she held it up, gazed

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