On the surface Bertha’s existence is seen as an obstacle to Jane’s happiness with Rochester and a scandalous secret shame of Rochester’s. A closer examination of Bertha’s circumstances and how she came to be at Thornfield can conclude that her madness is simply product of being alleviated of both her wealth and independence in the male-dominated society of Victorian England. Her regression into a madwoman due in part to her confinement is carefully surmised from Jane’s first impression her when she is i...
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...of the Victorian era and perhaps, in some ways, by having such a placid protagonist and a passionate minor antagonist could be reflective of the authors own conflict between submissiveness and rage. The madwoman in the attic, a phrase employed by theorists Gilbert and Gubar (Donaldson, 2002) as they developed an argument about what exactly the “Madwoman in the Attic” represented. Perhaps she embodied all the pain and rage that the author of the text felt. One can be locked away, hidden, diagnosed as mad, however, you cannot ignore the intensity of her character: her hardheartedness, sexual potency and mind make her an unforgettable character. Instead of doing away with such a burden of a person the character chooses to end her own life. If the madwoman in the attic was reflective of Bronte herself what might it mean for her to kill off her fictional passionate self?
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