Theme Of Setting In Bronte's Jane Eyre

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This essay will explore the function of setting in Jane Eyre, and will argue how Bronte used setting to portray, the oppression of women in a patriarchal Victorian society. The settings of Gateshead and Thornfield will be discussed in detail, to emphasise how Bronte’s representation of her heroine’s Gothic imagination depicted the feminist issues of the time. In addition it will consider differences, and similarities, between the protagonist Jane Eyre as ‘The Angel of the house,’ and the antagonist Bertha Mason as ‘The Madwoman in the Attic’. To ruminate this discussion, it will consider the critical essays of Robert B Hellman, Gilbert & Gumar, and Mary Poovey. Jane Eyre is a lonely rebellious child with an independent streak, from a young…show more content…
We never lose sight that Jane is plain, ordinary, and not the sexually repressed spinster who cannot resist her sexuality, as portrayed in in the critic Mary Pooveys argument in her essay ‘The Anathematized Race’ (Reader p. 195) who states, ‘The figure who epitomised the Victorian domestic ideal was also the figure who tried to destroy it.’ (Reader, 195). On the contrary, Bronte used this uncertain profession for Jane to illustrate the difference in social class and to portray the story from both a servant’s and aristocratic point of view, (CD 3) whilst also depicting Jane’s journey from her humble beginnings to equal stature with the man she loved. The Romantic setting in the novel strongly appeals to our senses. Bronte uses colour, sound, smell and texture to convey this, with words such as ‘sweet briar, southernwood, jasmine, pink, rose,’ (248) these words strongly bring nature to life, giving the setting a sense of richness, and vividness, which creates a soft dreamy impression of Rochester and the romance that follows. Jane feels a connection with nature and is observant to her surroundings, ‘white such honey dew fell, such silence reigned, such gloaming gathered
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