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Jane Eyre

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Rafael Seño

on 10 February 2013

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Transcript of Jane Eyre

Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë Themes Plot Summary Jane's Childhood Lowood Other employment Love and passion God and religion Gender relations Morality Jane Eyre St. John Eyre Rivers Edward Fairfax Rochester Main Characters The protagonist of the novel and the title character. Orphaned as a baby, she struggles through her nearly loveless childhood and becomes governess at Thornfield Hall. Jane is passionate and opinionated, and values freedom and independence. She also has a strong conscience and is a determined Christian. The master of Thornfield Manor. A Byronic hero, he is tricked into making an unfortunate first marriage to Bertha Mason many years before he meets Jane, with whom he falls madly in love. A clergyman who befriends Jane and turns out to be her cousin. He is thoroughly practical and suppresses all his human passions and emotions in favor of piety. He is determined to be missionary,
even if it means losing
his love. Jane refuses to become Mr. Rochester's paramour
because of her "impassioned self-respect and moral
conviction." She rejects St. John Rivers' Puritanism as much
as the libertine aspects of Mr. Rochester's character. Instead, she works out a morality expressed in love, independence, and forgiveness. Jane does not want to be seen as an outcast to society by being a mistress to Rochester. Throughout the novel, Jane endeavors to attain an equilibrium between moral duty and earthly happiness. She despises hypocritical puritanism, she admires Helen Burns' life's philosophy of 'turning the other cheek', which in turn helps her in adult life to forgive Aunt Reed and the Reed cousins for their cruelty. Although she does not seem to subscribe to any of the standard forms of popular Christianity, she honors traditional morality – particularly seen when she refuses to marry Mr. Rochester until he is widowed. Throughout the novel, Brontë presents contrasts between characters who believe in and practice what she considers a true Christianity, and those who pervert religion to further their own ends. A particularly important theme in the novel is the
depiction of a patriarchal society.

Through Jane, Brontë opposes Victorian stereotypes about women, articulating her own feminist philosophy: "Women are supposed to be very calm generally: but women feel just as men feel; they need exercise for their faculties, and a field for their efforts as much as their brothers do; they suffer from too rigid a restraint, too absolute a stagnation, precisely as men would suffer; and it is narrow-minded in their more privileged fellow-creatures to say that they ought to confine themselves to making puddings and knitting stockings, to playing on the piano and embroidering bags. It is thoughtless to
condemn them, or laugh at them, if they seek to do
more or learn more than custom has pronounced
necessary for their sex. (Chapter XII)
The novel starts when Jane is ten years old and several years after
her parents died of typhus. Mr. Reed was the only one in the Reed
family to be kind to Jane. Jane’s aunt Sarah Reed does not like her, treats her worse than a servant and discourages and, at times, forbids her children
from associating with Jane.
Mrs. Reed and her three children are abusive to Jane, both physically and emotionally. The servant Bessie proves to be Jane's only ally in the household even though Bessie sometimes harshly scolds Jane.
Excluded from the family activities, Jane is incredibly unhappy with only a doll to find solace. One day, Jane is locked in the red room, where her uncle died, and panics after seeing visions of him.
She is finally rescued when she is allowed to attend Lowood School for Girls, after the physician Mr. Lloyd convinces Mrs. Reed to send Jane away.
Before Jane leaves, she confronts Mrs. Reed and declares that she'll never
call her "aunt" again, that Mrs. Reed and her daughters,
Georgiana, and Eliza are deceitful and that she'd tell everyone
at Lowood how cruelly Mrs. Reed treated her. Jane arrives at Lowood Institution, a charity school, the head of which (Brocklehurst) has been told that she is deceitful. During an inspection, Jane accidentally breaks her slate, and Mr. Brocklehurst, the self-righteous clergyman who runs the school, brands her a liar and shames her before the entire assembly. Jane is comforted by her friend, Helen Burns. Miss Temple, a caring teacher, facilitates Jane's self-defense and writes to Mr. Lloyd, whose reply agrees with Jane's. Ultimately, Jane is publicly cleared of Mr. Brocklehurst's accusations.
The eighty pupils at Lowood are subjected to cold rooms, poor meals, and thin clothing. Many students fall ill when a typhus epidemic strikes. Jane's friend Helen dies of consumption in her arms. When Mr. Brocklehurst's neglect and dishonesty are discovered, several benefactors erect a new building and
conditions at the school improve dramatically. Jane travels through England using the little money she had saved. She
accidentally leaves her bundle of possessions on a coach and has to sleep on the moor, trying to trade her scarf and gloves for food. Exhausted, she makes her
way to the home of Diana and Mary Rivers, but is turned away by the housekeeper. She faints on the doorstep, preparing for her death. St. John Rivers, Diana and Mary's brother and a clergyman, saves her. After she regains her health, St. John finds her a teaching position at a nearby charity school. Jane becomes good friends with the sisters, but St. John remains reserved.

The sisters leave for governess jobs and St. John becomes closer with Jane. St. John discovers Jane's true identity, and astounds her by showing her a letter stating that her uncle John Eyre has died and left her his entire fortune of 20,000 pounds (equivalent to over £1.3 million in 2011). When Jane questions him further, St. John reveals that John is also his and his sisters' uncle. They had once hoped for a share of the inheritance, but have since resigned themselves to nothing.
Jane, overjoyed by finding her family, insists on sharing the
money equally with her cousins, and Diana and Mary
come to Moor House to stay. Presented by Rafael Seño LIT 222 World Literature Originally published as "Jane Eyre: An Autobiography", was published on 16 October 1847 by Smith, Elder & Co. of London, England, under the pen name "Currer Bell." In its internalization of the action - the focus is on the gradual unfolding of Jane's moral and spiritual sensibility and all the events are colored by a heightened intensity that was previously the domain of poetry- the novel revolutionized the art of fiction. Bildungsroman In literary criticism, a Bildungsroman (German pronunciation: [bldŋs.oman]) is a "formation novel" or a coming-of-age story. It is a literary genre that focuses on the psychological and moral growth of the protagonist from youth to adulthood and
in which character change is thus
extremely important. 21 April 1816 – 31 March 1855 Charlotte Brontë Mrs. Alice Fairfax Mrs. Sarah Reed Diana and Mary Rivers Mr. Brocklehurst Blanche Ingram Jane Eyre (2011 film) In 2011, Cary Joji Fukunaga directed this British romantic drama film starring Mia Wasikowska and Michael Fassbender. The screenplay is written by Moira Buffini based on the Brontë novel of the same name. The film was released on 11 March 2011 in the United States and 9 September in Great Britain and Ireland. An elderly widow and the housekeeper of Thornfield Manor. She cares for both Jane and Mr. Rochester. Jane's aunt by marriage, who adopts Jane on her husband's wishes, but abuses and neglects her. She eventually disowns her and sends her to Lowood School. St. John's sisters and (as it turns out) Jane's cousins. They are poor, intelligent, and kind-hearted, and want St. John to stay in England. The clergyman, headmaster and treasurer of Lowood School, whose maltreatment of the students is eventually exposed. A religious traditionalist, he advocates for his charges the most harsh, plain, and disciplined possible lifestyle—but not, hypocritically, for himself and his own family. A socialite whom Mr. Rochester temporarily courts in order to make Jane jealous. She is described as having great beauty, but displays callous behaviour and avaricious intent. Film Adaptations Jane Eyre (1996 film) This Hollywood version, directed by Franco Zeffirelli, is similar to the original novel, although it compresses and eliminates most of the plot in the last quarter of the book (the running away, the trials and tribulations, new found relations, and new job) to make it fit into a 2-hour movie. Jane Eyre (1970 film) Directed by Delbert Mann starring George C. Scott and Susannah York, the film had its theatrical debut in the United Kingdom in 1970. It was released on television in the United States in 1971. This movie was widely released in China in early 80s with big success and was one of the most popular foreign movies in China. Social class Jane's ambiguous social position — a penniless yet moderately educated orphan from a good family — leads her to criticize some discrimination based on class, though she discriminates other classes herself. Although she is educated, well-mannered, and relatively sophisticated, she is still a governess, a paid servant of low social standing, and therefore relatively powerless. Feminism Search for home and family Without any living family that she is aware of (until well into the story), throughout the course of the novel Jane searches for a place that she can call home. The role and standing of women in the Victorian era is considered by Brontë in Jane Eyre, specifically in regard to Jane's independence and ability to make decisions for herself. This plan, which was entirely radical and unheard of for the time, further illustrates Jane's drive to remain a somewhat independent woman. A central theme in Jane Eyre is that of the clash between conscience and passion — which one is to adhere to, and how to find a middle ground between the two. Jane, extremely passionate yet also dedicated to a close personal relationship with God, struggles between either extreme for much of the novel. Much of the religious concern in Jane Eyre has to do with atonement and forgiveness. Atonement and forgiveness Proposals Thinking she will make a suitable missionary's wife, St. John
asks Jane to marry him and to go with him to India, not out of love,
but out of duty. Jane initially accepts going to India, but rejects the marriage proposal, suggesting they travel as brother and sister. As soon as Jane's resolve against marriage to St. John begins to weaken, she mysteriously hears Mr. Rochester's voice calling her name. Jane then returns to Thornfield to find only blackened ruins. She learns that Mr. Rochester's wife set the house on fire and committed suicide by jumping from the roof. In his rescue attempts, Mr. Rochester lost a hand and
his eyesight. Jane reunites with him, but he fears that she will be
repulsed by his condition. When Jane assures him of her love
and tells him that she will never leave him, Mr. Rochester again
proposes and they are married. He eventually recovers
enough sight to see their first-born son. END. Thornfield Hall 1 After six years as a student and two as a teacher, Jane decides to leave Lowood, like her friend and confidante Miss Temple. She advertises her services as a governess, and receives one reply. It is from Alice Fairfax, the housekeeper at Thornfield Hall. She takes the position, teaching Adele Varens, a young French girl. While Jane is walking one night to a nearby town, a horseman passes her. The horse slips on ice and throws the rider. She helps him to the horse. Later, back at the mansion she learns that this man is Edward Rochester, master of the house. He teases her, asking whether she bewitched his horse to make him fall. Adele is
his ward, left in Mr. Rochester's care when her mother abandoned her. Mr. Rochester and Jane enjoy each
other's company and spend many hours together. Thornfield Hall 2 Odd things start to happen at the house, such as a strange laugh, a mysterious fire in Mr. Rochester's room, on which Jane throws water, and an attack on Rochester's house guest, Mr. Mason. Jane receives word that her aunt was calling for her, after being in much grief because her son has died. She returns to Gateshead and remains there for a month caring for her dying aunt. Mrs. Reed gives Jane a letter from Jane's paternal uncle, Mr John Eyre, asking for her to live with him. Mrs. Reed admits to telling her uncle that Jane had died of fever at Lowood. Soon after, Jane's aunt dies, and she returns to Thornfield. Jane begins to communicate to her uncle John Eyre. Thornfield Hall 3 After returning to Thornfield, Jane broods over Mr. Rochester's
impending marriage to Blanche Ingram. But on a midsummer evening, he
proclaims his love for Jane and proposes. As she prepares for her wedding,
Jane's forebodings arise when a strange, savage-looking woman sneaks into her
room one night and rips her wedding veil in two. As with the previous mysterious
events, Mr. Rochester attributes the incident to drunkenness on the part of Grace Poole,
one of his servants. During the wedding ceremony, Mr. Mason and a lawyer declare that
Mr. Rochester cannot marry because he is still married to Mr. Mason’s sister Bertha. Mr. Rochester admits this is true, but explains that his father tricked him into the marriage for
her money. Once they were united, he discovered that she was rapidly descending into madness and eventually locked her away in Thornfield, hiring Grace Poole as a nurse to
look after her. When Grace gets drunk, his wife escapes, and causes the strange happenings
at Thornfield. Jane learns that her own letter to her uncle John Eyre, which happened
to be seen by Mr. Mason, who knew John Eyre and was there, was how Mr. Mason
found out about the bigamous marriage. Mr. Rochester asks Jane to go with him to
the south of France, and live as husband and wife, even though they cannot
be married. Refusing to go against her principles, and despite her love for him,
Jane leaves Thornfield in the middle of the night. Thank you, Jane Eyre
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