The Dichotomy of Imagery in 'Jane Eyre'

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The Dichotomy of Imagery Within Jane Eyre Upon initially examining Charlotte Bronte's novel Jane Eyre, there appears to be a predominance of imagery that the author utilizes to represent both the title character and the various forms of adversity she comes into contact with. The vast majority of this imagery depicts the dichotomy of fire and ice. The author utilizes the former to represent the indomitable spirit and passion of the title character, whereas she employs the latter to symbolize the antagonizing elements that seek to damper Eyre's flaming ardor. Interestingly enough, this dichotomy is existent throughout the duration of Eyre's life and is evident in her early days as an orphan, in her years receiving her formal education as a school girl, and in her adulthood years when she considers candidates for a husband. Although the symbolism behind the imagery of fire and ice change slightly throughout Eyre's various stages of development, this dichotomy nonetheless represents the central theme of the novel: Eyre's triumph over the forces of poverty, forlornness, and despair into a successful life of her choosing. Early on in the novel, Eyre's personality is characterized by an incendiary disposition that is largely in response to the adverse conditions in which she finds herself. She is an orphan who lives with her aunt, Mrs. Reed, who treats her cruelly in comparison to how she treats the other children living there. Shortly after Mrs. Reed decides to send Eyre away

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