Essay on Fire Imagery in Charlotte Bronte's Jane Eyre

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Fire Imagery in Charlotte Bronte's Jane Eyre
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The prevalence of fire imagery and it's multitude of metaphoric uses in Charlotte Bronte's Jane Eyre expresses two things that could not be expressed openly in the Victorian Period, which are mainly passion and sexuality. Brontes writing was dictated by the morals of her society, but her ideas were not. Jane Eyre was written with the Victorian reader in mind. Bronte knew that if she were to write about these two things directly she would have to face possible rejection of her book. A resolution to this dilemma was to awaken the audience in a way that society deemed not only respectable, but also acceptable. So Bronte creates Jane, and Jane becomes the embodiment of
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In this passage from the novel, Jane begins to understand what will become of her if she gives into the consuming passion that she often feels:

A ridge of lighted heath, alive, glancing, devouring, would have been a great 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. (69; ch. 4)

Bronte takes the fire and transforms it to illustrate the image of sexuality and passion. By doing this, she also proposes the way in which internalized feelings of opposing ideas give into self-depleting energy through the loss of self-control. Here, Jane has the fear of becoming like Mrs. Reed. She comes to the realization that if this is not what she wants to be like, then she must keep her passions under control. Otherwise, she could become "black and blasted after the flames have died." This is presented to embody what Victorian society believed to be true and is a fine example of everything that it despises, which is namely the expression of passion. The fulfillment of self becomes the foundation of society's views, on which the fears of women and their passionate behaviors are laid.

Indeed, fire and tumult are major themes within the novel, but these images also invade Victorian arguments pertaining to a women's place in society, and the possible consequences that could occur if a women
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