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Jane Eyre | Study Guide

Charlotte Brontë

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Jane Eyre | Infographic

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Check out this Infographic to learn more about Charlotte Brontë's Jane Eyre. Study visually with character maps, plot summaries, helpful context, and more.

jane-eyre-charlotte-bronte Copyright © 2016 Course Hero, Inc. Sources: Encyclopaedia Britannica, Penguin Books, Poetry Foundation, New Yorker, Washington State University Janes Journey OVERVIEW Though often labeled a romance, Jane Eyre is also a coming-of-age story, memorable for its groundbreaking reveal of a womans inner life. We follow Jane as she matures from a young orphan to a teacher and then a governess; from there, we watch as she journeys away from Thornfield and back in her quest to unravel her feelings for the impulsive, fiery Mr. Rochester. Religion and Self-Control Jane sees different examples of piety in Helen and St. John, and draws on her own moral code to avoid temptation and make choices she feels are right. Gender and Class Janes actions and choices were controversial to many readers, who saw her rebelliousness and romantic choices as ignoring barriers of gender and class. Passion Jane is plain, but full of intellectual, moral, and physical passion. Bertha also represents passion, intensified by the imprisonment that leaves her unable to express it. Much of Janes story came from Charlotte Brontës own early years. Along with her sisters Emily and Anne, Charlotte endured a horrifying boarding school, worked as a teacher and governess, and refused proposals from several suitors. Jane Eyre was immediately successful, in great part since the richness of its authors interior life is reflected in the title character. CHARLOTTE BRONTË1816 55 Symbols Main Characters The novel has been viewed through a variety of critical perspectives: Lowood Thornfield Marsh End Bertha Mason WifeBeautiful, repressed, plagued by madness Jane, Chapter 23 Jane Eyre HeroineIndependent, strong, spirited GatesheadOrphaned and tormented by her aunt and cousins, Jane finds solace in reading. Ferndean Through cruelty and sickness, Jane blossoms intellectually with friends and teachers. MarxistTreats books as "products" of their era, and believes literature ultimately reflects class struggle. A Marxist reading of Jane Eyre focuses on how class shapes Jane's relationship with Rochester and others. FeministExplores how ideas of womanhood are represented in literature. Feminist critics focus on characters like Jane, Bertha, and Adele, analyzing the ways in which they undermine or propagate stereotypes of female characters. PostcolonialDraws our attention to how colonialand anti-colonial messages are represented in literature. Jane Eyre shows how Western values are often perceived as "natural" and non-Western ones "savage," especially looking at Rochester's treatment of Bertha. Fire Symbolizes passion; appears in the story when Bertha attempts (and eventually succeeds) in burning Thornfield Arriving as a governess, Jane is drawn to Thornfields master, Mr. Rochester. She agrees to marry him, but on their wedding day it is revealed that his first wife, Bertha, is still alive. o you think, because I am poor, obscure, plain, and little, I am soulless and heartless? You think wrong! Mr. Rochester Love interestImpulsive, fiery, brooding Mrs. Reed AuntCruel, petty, unforgiving Helen Burns Childhood friendInnocent, spiritual, kind Adèle Varens Foster daughterPlayful, foreign, materialistic St. John Rivers Rochester's foilRestrained, pious, cold Jane is taken in by St. John Rivers and his sisters, but finds she cannot marry the cold, ascetic St. John. Jane returns to Rochester to find him blinded from a fire set by Bertha, and they marry. In turmoil Jane flees from Rochester, who wants her to remain as his mistress. The Madwoman The madwoman in the attic, a coarse characterization of Bertha, has become a symbol of scandal and secret Themes Charlotte Bron 1847 English Novel Author Year Published Original Language Jane Eyre Romance Author Critical Lenses

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