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Imagery in Jane Eyre

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Alexis Drickel

on 14 September 2011

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Transcript of Imagery in Jane Eyre

Thesis Discussion Questions Examples Imagery and Motifs in Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë Examples
Continued (cc) photo by Metro Centric on Flickr (cc) photo by Franco Folini on Flickr (cc) photo by jimmyharris on Flickr (cc) photo by Metro Centric on Flickr Brontë uses a combination of imagery and symbolism to foreshadow coming events • 1st Painting:
• A scene at sea, with a destroyed ship. There is a dead body on the ship, and it is wearing a bracelet. A cormorant, a type of bird, pulls at the bracelet on the dead person. The bracelet was bright and adorned with gemstones.
• It is possible that the dead person represents Jane’s losses in life, or even Jane herself, lost at sea. While Jane has lost many things in life, such as a proper childhood, there are still more she is about to lose.
• The bracelet could represent the “glitter of hope,” so to speak, and is being taken away by the bird. The bird could represent fate, which takes nearly everything from Jane throughout her life.
• 2nd Painting:
• There is a hill in the foreground, and a woman’s form behind it. The woman’s outline is soft and indistinct, like a shadowy figure. The woman’s eyes are bright and wild, and on her forehead is a star.
• This painting can be a representation of Jane’s “wild” sort of nature. Mr. Rochester always compares her to a fairy or some sort of ethereal creature.
• 3rd Painting:
• An iceberg rises from a dark hazy horizon, and the Northern Lights are in the sky behind it. A head leans against the iceberg, and two hands hold up the head. The face is pale and bloodless, and its eyes are blank and aimless.
• This painting could simply be an illustration of the despair and sadness that plagues Jane throughout her life. The fact that the head is not entirely supported by the hands could symbolize the fact that even in the worst of times Jane kept her dignity and tried with all her strength to carry on. She refused to give up when she left Thornfield, and kept looking for a job so that she could earn a living.
1) Why do you think Brontë used this extended metaphor? Recall, the metaphor was used just after Jane returned to Thornfield.

“Hear an illustration, reader. A lover finds his mistress asleep on a mossy bank…How he suddenly and vehemently clasps in both arms the form he dare not, a moment since, touch with his finger!…He thus grasps, and cries, and gazes…He thought his love slept sweetly; he finds she is stone dead.”
2) Is there another motif that you think is even more apparent? 3) Jane describes many different places. Which place, in your opinion, seemed the hardest to forget? Which place seemed the most important in character and plot development? The Tree (pages 292 – 298)
• Jane and Mr. Rochester were seated at a bench on the roots of a chestnut tree, when Mr. Rochester asked if she would be his wife.

• The tree symbolizes Mr. Rochester and Jane together, since whenever they are in the garden, they sit there beside one another.
• When the tree splits, it is foreshadowing the eventual separation of Jane and Mr. Rochester. The very next day, Adèle comes to tell Jane that lightning had struck the tree in the night, and it had split it two. • The tree symbolizes Mr. Rochester and Jane together, since whenever they are in the garden, they sit there beside one another. When the tree splits, it is foreshadowing the eventual separation of Jane and Mr. Rochester. Examples continued... Wedding viel was torn by Bertha on the evening before Jane was supposed to marry Rochester. Rochester asks Jane to marry him and gifts her with many jewels and a gorgeous wedding viel in which she will wear. One the eve of the wedding she puts the wedding viel in her closet for the next day. This is foreshadowing that the wedding between Jane and Rochester will not work out. The viel is just one of the many images that were signs of the failure of the relationship. Examples Continued... Mr. Rochester is almost always associated with fire. He is by fire, with fire, almost being killed by fire. The fire is also associated with Bertha. Which could be her hate for Rochester after he locked her up and never loved her. She tried to kill Rochester by burning his room and essentially all of Thornfield. Fire could also be Jane's love and passion for Rochester. The fire always around Rochester that Bertha does not cause could possibly be Jane's love that burns for him. Her want to be with him so badly. 3) Jane has other paintings, but throughout the novel only actually draws people during the novel, why is that?
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