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Jane Eyre: Symbols Project

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Lucia Ebale

on 6 March 2013

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Transcript of Jane Eyre: Symbols Project

Jane Eyre
Appearance
Jane is always observing with her artist point-view, she cannot help herself in describing the people around her, though she describes them with great detail it is evident to the reader that Jane describes her own appearance with less elaboration and plain description. This symbol is represented through-out the novel. “Had he been a handsome, heroic-looking young gentleman, I should not have dared to stand thus questioning him against his will, and offering my services unasked. I had hardly ever seen a handsome youth; never in my life spoken to one. I had a theoretical reverence and homage for beauty, elegance, gallantry, fascination; but had I met those qualities incarnate in masculine shape…”(pg.127).

In this passage it’s Jane first encounter with Mr. Rochester as she describes him she sees him has an equal and is not afraid of him. Also it’s the first time the reader see take any interest in a man, but unusual so instead of being impressed by him Jane feels inclined to his features, his appearance comforted Jane and made her like Mr. Rochester even more.
Helen Burns reveals to Jane’s inner beauty is much ore important then outer and in that Jane will carry this moral concept for the rest of the novel. Helen is truly alive her beauty comes-out what she’s doing, and because she’s so intensely alive – not because she’s a passive, static object, something to be looked at, like “fine colour” painting. “ Bessie, when she heard this narrative, sighed and said, ‘Poor Miss Jane is to be pitied, too, Abbot.’

‘Yes,’ responded Abbot, "if she were a nice, pretty child, one might compassionate her forlornness; but one really cannot care for such a little toad as that.’” (pg.23)

To the servants at Gateshead Jane is considered I thing to be “pited” and if she been “pretty” like her cousins, they would have more compassionate. There shallowness is a represents how society determine appreance with great deal. “I am very happy, Jane; and when you hear that I am dead, you must be sure and not grieve: there is nothing to grieve about. We all must die one day, and the illness which is removing me is not painful; it is gentle and gradual: my mind is at rest. I leave no one to regret me much: I have only a father; and he is lately married, and will not miss me. By dying young, I shall escape great sufferings. I had not qualities or talents to make my way very well in the world: I should have been continually at fault ”(pg. 89).

This passage signifies Helen’s death and how it greatly affected Jane. Though the reader sees that Helen escapes to her destiny to death it also shows the end Jane’s childhood irrationality ends and the begin of her humble adulthood. Childhood Adulthood & Appearance As Jane Grows we see her character involve through-out the novel, this symbolizes the coming of age as a girl to a women. Childhood/Adulthood: "Each picture told a story; mysterious often to my undeveloped understanding and imperfect feelings, yet ever profoundly interesting…” (p.3)

At this time Jane is living the Gateshead as she reads her stories are the way that she escapes the harsh reality, and brought her confront and happiness. She is truly being a child through her imagination. “A child cannot quarrel with its elders, as I had done; cannot give its furious feelings uncontrolled play, as I had given mine, without experiencing afterwards the pang of remorse and the chill of reaction. A ridge of lighted heath, alive, glancing, devouring, would have been a meet emblem of my mind when I accused and menaced Mrs. Reed: the same ridge, black and blasted after the flames are dead, would have represented as meetly my subsequent condition, when half-an-hour’s silence and reflection had shown me the madness of my conduct, and the dreariness of my hated and hating position” ( pg. 37). Jane in this passage feels guilty, and in that guilt it is the first time she realizes that remorse and ugly reflection of herself in comparison to Mrs.Reed, and that she does not like it. By realizing this her childhood character is finally reveled to the reader how much range and anger she has toward Mrs. Reed, and her status quot, with this Jane more intensely ready to escape the Gateshead. “I hardly know where I found the hardihood thus to open a conversation with a stranger; the step was contrary to my nature and habits: but I think her occupation touched a chord of sympathy somewhere; for I too liked reading, though of a frivolous and childish kind; I could not digest or comprehend the serious or substantial” (pg.51). This is the Jane’s first interaction with someone her onw age, it’s her first time to step-out of her usual confront zone and be actually kid. The reader can see her how Jane wants to be connection, a friend, like any other kid at that age. “Oh, you are quite a lady, Miss Jane! I knew you would be: you will get on whether your relations notice you or not” (Chapter 10).

When Jane has an unexpected visit form Bessie, in this passage Jane fits all the standard’s of a Victorian women, she paint, read and write in French and she can play the piano. In eyes of society Jane fits the standard’s o f the Victorian women. Though the question is does Jane want to be excepted in what society deems as a Victorian women. “The same hostile roof now again rose before me: my prospects were doubtful yet; and I had yet an aching heart. I still felt as a wanderer on the face of the earth; but I experienced firmer trust in myself and my own powers, and less withering dread of oppression. The gaping wound of my wrongs, too, was now quite healed; and the flame of resentment extinguished” (pg. 261).

Back at Gateshead Jane still feels a ping of emotion of the hardship she experience in the house, though as the reader can see is not same as when she was a child. No more of her high temper and rebellion sprit, but a growing realization of what her own wrongs she did at this place and understanding that she must forgive Mrs. Reed to heal "gaping wounds of her wrongs." “We know that God is everywhere; but certainly we feel His presence most when His works are on the grandest scale spread before us; and it is in the unclouded night-sky, where His worlds wheel their silent course, that we read clearest His infinitude, His omnipotence, His omnipresence. I had risen to my knees to pray for Mr. Rochester. Looking up, I, with tear-dimmed eyes, saw the mighty Milky-way. Remembering what it was—what countless systems there swept space like a soft trace of light—I felt the might and strength of God. Sure was I of His efficiency to save what He had made: convinced I grew that neither earth should perish, nor one of the souls it treasured. I turned my prayer to thanksgiving: the Source of Life was also the Saviour of spirits” (pg. 374).

In tell know Jane had not relied on God for strength or any sense of hope form a spiritual exception, as a child she concentrated on the Old Testament, the sense the harsh condemning of Gods rather his forgiveness and grace that Jane now is striving for as she struggles to survive alone. “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: I thought it like one of the tiny phantoms, half fairy, half imp…”(pg.9-10).

In the red room, Jane sees her reflection and feels that she is unregonizable herself, and in that reflection her vulnerbilaty see greatly seen has she describes herself a “phantom” the reader can interpret that Jane preserves herself as worthless and scared thing. “‘Naturally! Yes, but we are not to conform to nature; I wish these girls to be the children of Grace: and why that abundance? I have again and again intimated that I desire the hair to be arranged closely, modestly, plainly’” (pg. 67).

Mr. Broklehurst wants things girl to be represented as plain servents, no uniqueness, no individuality. In having the girls at Lowood have known of those it makes them belive that they must go against their natural beliefs and conform to society. The reader later on in the book can see where Jane gets her since of humble character because these conformist standards. “First, they glowed in the bright tint of her cheek, which till this hour I had never seen but pale and bloodless; then they shone in the liquid lustre of her eyes, which had suddenly acquired a beauty more singular than that of Miss Temple’s—a beauty neither of fine colour nor long eyelash, nor pencilled brow, but of meaning, of movement, of radiance” (Chapter 8). “Master to serve whose kingdom is not of this world: my mission is to mortify in these girls the lusts of the flesh; to teach them to clothe themselves with shame-facedness and sobriety, not with braided hair and costly apparel; and each of the young persons before us has a string of hair twisted in plaits which vanity itself might have woven: these, I repeat, must be cut off; think of the time waste….Mr. Brocklehurst was here interrupted: three other visitors, ladies, now entered the room. They ought to have come a little sooner to have heard his lecture on dress, for they were splendidly attired in velvet, silk, and furs.”

This quote shows how society is ironic view about appearance and how Mr. Brocklehurts represents the hypocrisy that era view about religion. He is lecturing Ms. Temple about the girls in Lowood appearance and how they should be plain, not even have brads, while his wife and children are all done out with “velvet, silk, and furs.” “I dressed myself with care: obliged to be plain—for I had no article of attire that was not made with extreme simplicity—I was still by nature solicitous to be neat. It was not my habit to be disregardful of appearance or careless of the impression I made: on the contrary, I ever wished to look as well as I could, and to please as much as my want of beauty would permit. I sometimes regretted that I woas not handsomer; I sometimes wished to have rosy cheeks, a straight nose, and small cherry mouth; I desired to be tall, stately, and finely developed in figure; I felt it a misfortune that I was so little, so pale, and had features so irregular and so marked. And why had I these aspirations and these regrets? It would be difficult to say: I could not then distinctly say it to myself; yet I had a reason, and a logical, natural reason too” (pg. 110).

In this passage the reader can see Jane’s insecurity of her feature’s and her wonder and wish to be more finer in her looks. Even though Jane claims she has no idea why she wishes these things, it is clear to the reader that she wishes to be notice by Mrs. Rochester. “Tall, fine bust, sloping shoulders; long, graceful neck: olive complexion, dark and clear; noble features; eyes rather like Mr. Rochester’s: large and black, and as brilliant as her jewels. And then she had such a fine head of hair; raven-black and so becomingly arranged: a crown of thick plaits behind, and in front the longest, the glossiest curls I ever saw.”(pg.180)

As Mrs. Fairfax describes Blanch Ingram the reader can see that she is representation of a Victorian women, the complete opposite of Jane, where Jane is little and pale; Blanch is tall and tan; Blanch is rich, Jane is poor; and so on. “ Miss Ingram was a mark beneath jealousy: she was too inferior to excite the feeling. Pardon the seeming paradox; I mean what I say. She was very showy, but she was not genuine: she had a fine person, many brilliant attainments; but her mind was poor, her heart barren by nature: nothing bloomed spontaneously on that soil; no unforced natural fruit delighted by its freshness. She was not good; she was not original: she used to repeat sounding phrases from books: she never offered, nor had, an opinion of her own” (pg. 211).

In appearance Jane accepts that Ingram is inferior in the expect of looks, but Jane does argue to the reader that she might have the looks but that she does not have the intellectual, brilliant entices that Jane poses. “He was, in short, in his after-dinner mood; more expanded and genial, and also more self-indulgent than the frigid and rigid temper of the morning; still he looked preciously grim, cushioning his massive head against the swelling back of his chair, and receiving the light of the fire on his granite-hewn features, and in his great, dark eyes; for he had great, dark eyes, and very fine eyes, too—not without a certain change in their depths sometimes, which, if it was not softness, reminded you, at least, of that feeling.” (pg.147)

As Jane describes Mr. Rochester she is contradicting with his appearance and character, to the reader it him must be relax and while rested but as Jane goes she describes him as “grim” not relaxed at all. It shows the reader the ever broody character of Mr. Rochester. The Gypsy disguised as Mr. Rochester tries to scare Jane into telling the truth about herself, it seems though she already figure-out Jane true since. Unknown to the reader that it is indeed Mr. Rochester it seems that this gypsy reveals many hidden truth about Jane, especially except of Jane’s “loneliness…sensibly.” “‘The flame flickers in the eye; the eye shines like dew; it looks soft and full of feeling; it smiles at my jargon: it is susceptible; impression follows impression through its clear sphere; where it ceases to smile, it is sad; an unconscious lassitude weighs on the lid: that signifies melancholy resulting from loneliness. It turns from me; it will not suffer further scrutiny; it seems to deny, by a mocking glance, the truth of the discoveries I have already made,—to disown the charge both of sensibility and chagrin: its pride and reserve only confirm me in my opinion. The eye is favourable.’”(pg.229). “Young ladies have a remarkable way of letting you know that they think you a “quiz” without actually saying the words. A certain superciliousness of look, coolness of manner, nonchalance of tone, express fully their sentiments on the point, without committing them by any positive rudeness in word or deed” (pg. 262).

Jane first visit back to the Gateshead and as expected it was not a warm one in visting she is reunited with her cousins, who regard her with the same detest manner. Gregorian barely coolly knowledge her and Eliza barely notices her. The cousins consider themselves in a higher class then Jane, still perseve her as the poor orphan girl that she was 10 years ago. “ His form was of the same strong and stalwart contour as ever: his port was still erect, his hair was still raven-black; nor were his features altered or sunk: not in one year’s space, by any sorrow, could his athletic strength be quelled, or his vigorous prime blighted. But in his countenance, I saw a change: that looked desperate and brooding – that reminded me of some wronged and fettered wild beast or bird, dangerous to approach in his sullen woe. The caged eagle, whose gold-ringed eyes cruelty has extinguished, might look as looked that sightless Samson.”(pg.500).

In this passage Jane sees Rochester for the first time since she left him. She observes him like Jane always does and comments how he changed. Though it’s seem like his appearance just shows Mr. Rochester under laying struggle that he has been going through, final brought in his appearance. Also the comment about him being Samson (a men who was tricked by a women) appeared another time in book when Jane and Rochester are planning there wedding on pg. 300. It’s first time the reader see Jane having a since of control over Rochester, also again the reader can see that Jane has that same kind of control. She, Jane took away the powers of Rochester, when she left him. And know that she is back she restore his sprit and in powering each other as equals.
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