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Jane Eyre Motifs

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by

Will Cray

on 28 September 2012

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Transcript of Jane Eyre Motifs

Jane Eyre Motifs Attire Fire Weather “I was stiff with long sitting, and bewildered with the noise and motion of the coach: gathering my faculties, I looked about me. Rain, wind, and darkness filled the air;…” (pg. 43) “...iron sky of winter, stiffened in frost, shrouded with snow!--when mists as chill as death wandered to the impulse of east winds along those purple peaks, and rolled down ‘ing’ and holm till they blended with the frozen fog of the beck! That beck itself was then a torrent, turbid and curbless; it tore asunder the wood, and sent a raving sound through the air, often thickened with wild rain or whirling sleet; and for the forest on its banks, that sowed only ranks of skeletons.” (pg. 82-83) Mr. Rochester Fire References • Bronte relates fire to Rochester to illustrate his passion, desire, and lust.

• “…my brain is on fire with impatience, and you tarry so long!” pg. 330 chapter 26.

• “What a hot and strong grasp he had!” pg. 333 chapter 26

• “…olive cheek and hueless forehead received a glow as from spreading, ascending heart-fire…” pg.335 chapter 36
.
• “…lamp quenched, waiting to be re-lit.” chapter 37. Bertha burning the bedclothes
In chapter 15, Jane is falling asleep one night when she hears a “demonic” laugh from the hallway behind her bed. The next thing she senses is an intense smell of burning, Jane rushes into Mr. Rochester’s bed chamber and sees that his bed is on fire.

The arsonist in this scene is Bertha. There are many reasons that she might’ve set his bed ablaze. She could have known Rochester was starting to love Jane, and with Bertha being his wife, she could just be angry. She could also be signifying the end of her relationship with Rochester by trying to kill him. Bertha setting fire to the house
In chapter 36, Bertha again commits an act of arson, this time by setting fire to what was once Jane’s room at Thornfield.

The reason for this arson seems like it would be the Bertha was burning the memory of Jane (at this point in the book Jane has run away and is living with the Rivers), and the supposed end to Mr. Rochester and Jane’s relationship. Unfortunately for Bertha, her plan backfires, Bertha loses her life in the fire, and it actually ends up re-kindling the spark of Jane’s relationship with Rochester. While living at the reed house Jane is not given so many material things as her cousins are. Her clothes are boring and even the other residents remake on how much of an ugly child she is.
Because the clothing choices are all the same for the girls Jane has no choice. But this doesn't seem to restrict her or she pays no mind to it.
As she leaves for Thornfield her attire turns to standard governess wear and the residents know what her occupation is at Thornfield just by looking at her.
During the party that Rochester hosts it becomes apparent that of all the people in the room Jane sticks out the most. Her clothes are plain and boring while the other women seem to be dressed in lavish attire. Throughout the novel Jane is described as a plain person, but her attire not only shows her standing as a person but it also compares her to those around her. Bronte uses this motif not only to develop her outward look but her feelings about her appearance and the women around her. Just like Foster’s “It’s Never Just Rain” chapter, Charlotte Bronte uses weather as a device to develop the theme, characters, setting, and tone. Bronte uses this weather condition while Jane is traveling to Lowood.
The frenetic weather condition shows the way that Jane is feeling currently, helping to develop her as a character by allowing the reader to gain insight into her emotions.
She is confused and frightened about what her future at Lowood has to bring. While living at the reed house Jane is not given so many material things as her cousins are. Her clothes are boring and even the other residents remake on how much of an ugly child she is.
Because the clothing choices are all the same for the girls Jane has no choice. But this doesn't seem to restrict her or she pays no mind to it.
As she leaves for thornfield her attire turns to standard governess wear and the residents know what her occupation is at thornfield just by looking at her.
During the party that Rochester hosts it becomes apparent that of all the people in the room Jane sticks out the most. Her clothes are plain and boring while the other women seem to be dressed in lavish attire. Theme - Adds to the idea that Jane is not as beautiful as the women around her, sharp differences between her and her cousins along with Rochesters bride to be. It not only adds to her personality, but shows her place in society.
Character - Jane is aware that she is plain looking and notices her attire whenever she travels to a different place in the novel. Since she has grown up always believing she was not much to look at, she has no faith in Rochester's compliments. Setting - The attire changes from her childhood to her adult years depending on her surroundings. The determines the attire of herself, and the people she is surrounded by.
Tone - Jane’s attire creates a more constricting tone. There is an obvious set of rules of what she is and is not allowed to wear. This also presents a question of her freedom and social standing. Jane’s somber mood about her appearance contrasts with Rochesters more loving and endearing comments.
“Fire” in the Intro In the introductory chapters of the book, there aren’t any physical examples of fire; the fire is contained in Jane herself. We first get a glimpse of Jane’s fiery character when she has finally had enough of her cousin John abusing her, and snaps, finally fighting back with all her might when John comes at her with the intent of hurting her. Helen as Ice Helen, Jane’s best friend at Lowood, has an icy character. Not in the way that she is mean and condescending, but in the way that she doesn’t fight back with fire, instead she accepts her punishments and mistreatments and doesn’t say anything about them. Jane Fire References Bronte uses fire to detail Jane’s desires, lusts, and fears.
Red-Room
Jane sees red (fire). Becomes anxious and scared.

“ A ridge of lighted heath…” pg.37 chapter 4
Explains her passionate character.

“You think I have no feelings…You are deceitful!” pg.36 chapter 4.
First time Jane shows her burning lust.

“…under such steadfast brows ever revealed such flaming and flashing eyes.”Pg.331 chapter 36.
Refers to Rochester. Bronte Uses Fire to Show Warmth and Welcome “…there burnt a fire…lamp suspended from the ceiling by a chain.” pg. 337 chapter 26.
Berth Mason’s room. •“She ushered me into a room whose double illumination of fire and candle first dazzled me.” Pg.106 chapter 11. •“The candle, whose rays had been my beacon, burnt on the table.” Pg.383 chapter 28. The weather in this passage also creates the tone that is similar to Jane’s feelings
It is hectic and stressful, foreboding the upcoming events and setting the tone for Lowood. It also adds to theme development
Throughout the novel, the weather provides another source of oppression for Jane.
The harsh weather is oppressing her in this passage, adding extra emotional harassment to Jane’s current state. Bronte uses weather in this passage to set the stage for the death that is to come. During Jane Eyre weather is used to give the reader insight into Jane’s inner mood.

During times of grief and sadness for Jane the weather seems to reflect these sad times, but during moments of joy, the birds are singing and the weather is as bright as a summer’s day. This passage is about winter, which literarily is associated with misfortune and death, according to Foster, which thus adds to Jane’s character by portraying that she will experience hardship and sorrow in the moments to come. The descriptive usage of weather adds to the setting by giving more than simple details to describe an area.

For one paints a picture in the readers mind as to what she is experiencing and secondly by the strength and movement of the words, especially in this excerpt one can really feel the force of the river. This passage adds to the setting by accelerating as it continues because it begins slow and ends with a rushing mountain stream and then the excerpt stops abruptly with the mention of “ranks of skeletons”. Weather is used to expand the tone of the story, by incorporating dark verbs and shady adjectives to the diction of the moment.

This excerpt is filled with words like, “iron...stiffened....chill.....frozen....torrent.....thickened.....skeleton...whirling” to create a dark tone, which then gives meaning to the moment.
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