Analysis Of Jane Eyre 's ' The Madwoman 's The Attic ' Essays

Analysis Of Jane Eyre 's ' The Madwoman 's The Attic ' Essays

Length: 938 words (2.7 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Better Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

The reveal of the “madwoman in the attic” is one of the most famous narratives within Jane Eyre paving the way for modern contemporary readers to sympathize more freely with the character, not only with I later interpretations but with symbolic readings. Within chapter 26, after their unsuccessful wedding, Rochester admits to a horrified Jane that he has imprisoned his wife Bertha because she is mad. Readers only encounter Bertha briefly within Bronte’s Jane Eyre when she is in the deepest depths of her madness, having been subjected to confinement in the topmost attic of Thornfield and there is only a little to go on regarding her interactions with other characters. While it is arguable much more could have been done with her character it does leave it open for other contemporary writers to intertextualize the character, though none are as in depth as Jean Rhys’s Wide Sargasso Sea (1985) in which Rhys explores the story of Bertha “Antoinette” Mason before she married Rochester, before she moved to England and her life previously in Jamaica. In the following we will focus reveal of Rochester’s hidden wife Bertha Mason within chapter 26 of Charlotte Bronte’s Jane Eyre and to some extent the significance of Bertha within the story.

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...

... middle of paper ...

...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?

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Exposing the Role of Women in The Madwoman in the Attic Essay

- Exposing the Role of Women in The Madwoman in the Attic       In their book The Madwoman in the Attic, Sandra Gilbert and Susan Gubar address the issue of literary potential for women in a world shaped by and for men. Specifically, Gilbert and Gubar are concerned with the nineteenth century woman and how her role was based on her association with the symbols of angels, monsters, or sometimes both. Because the role of angel was ideally passive and the role of monster was naturally evil, both limited a woman’s behavior into quiet content, with few words to object....   [tags: Madwoman Attic Essays]

Better Essays
1698 words (4.9 pages)

Essay on Analysis of Bertha Mason´s Character in Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte

- Bertha Rochester’s introduction into Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte had an immense impact on her present life and aligned with the disappointments in her past. Bertha Rochester is the madwoman who lives in Mr. Rochester’s attic. She lives there because she is Mr. Rochester’s wife who was kept a secret from Jane. Mr. Rochester married her, not knowing what he was getting himself into it. Bertha Rochester is also the sister to Mr. Mason who was bitten and stabbed by her. Her existence and secret marriage to Mr....   [tags: Past, Wife, Meltall Illness]

Better Essays
676 words (1.9 pages)

Essay about Gilbert and Gubar's The Madwoman in the Attic

- Women, as stated by Gilbert and Gubar in The Madwoman in the Attic, are often portrayed in literature as one of two binary opposites, ‘monstrous’ or ‘angelic’. Arguing throughout their theory that women are either represented as the ‘sweet dumb Snow White’ character or the ‘fierce mad Queen’2, Gilbert and Gubar expose how the female protagonist can never be understood as anything in between these two states. This dichotomy is clearly demonstrated in Felecia Hemans’s ‘The Indian City’, throughout which, the female protagonist is seen abandoning a life of angelic domesticity for one of monstrous masculinity....   [tags: romanticism, critical theory analysis]

Better Essays
671 words (1.9 pages)

Essay on Chinua Achebe as the Madwoman in the Attic

- Sandra Gilbert and Susan Gubar pursue a definition for what it means to be an authoress in a male dominated culture of writers. The central question for Feminists, according to Gilbert and Gubar, is: “Does the Queen try to sound like the King, imitating his tone, is inflections, his phrasing, his point of view. Or does she ‘talk back’ to him in her own vocabulary, her own timbre, insisting on her own viewpoint?” However, I cannot overlook the prospect of a man feeling just as mad and cooped up writing a text that others would view as out of his league....   [tags: Things Fall Apart, writing expertise]

Better Essays
909 words (2.6 pages)

Analysis Of The Book ' Flowers From The Attic ' Essay

- Cleo Virginia Andrews, more widely known as V.C. Andrews, was born in Portsmouth, Virginia in 1932. Andrews was the youngest of all her siblings, and also the only daughter (V.C. Andrews). When she was a child she developed crippling arthritis after having surgery to treat injuries from a falling accident. Even with her limited writing ability that came with her arthritis, Andrews progressed to become a 20th century novelist. While her success and popularity came from her writing, she was also had a career as an illustrator/artist, she attempted to write a graphic science fiction novel, but it wasn’t picked up by any publishers (V.C....   [tags: Novel, Fiction, Flowers in the Attic, Short story]

Better Essays
1040 words (3 pages)

Analysis of Flowers in the Attic by V.C. Andrews Essay

- Analysis of Flowers in the Attic by V.C. Andrews Flowers in the attic that’s what four children thought of themselves. They were born so brightly colored, but fading duller as their long dreary nightmarish days, held prisoners of hope, and kept captive by greed. The Dollengangers were a loving and happy family. Chris had meet Corrine when she was fourteen. After she turned eighteen they eloped. They had four beautiful children. They all had blond hair, blue eyes, and fair skin. Christopher was the oldest....   [tags: Flowers in the Attic V.C. Andrews Essays]

Better Essays
1080 words (3.1 pages)

Literary Analysis Of Jane Eyre ' Essay

- Literary Analysis: Jane Eyre Is Jane Eyre realistic. Jane Eyre was written in 1847 by Charlotte Bronte. Jane Eyre is a young girl who lived with her aunt and uncle at Gateswood. After Jane 's uncle had died, her aunt sent her to Lowood, a boarding school for orphaned girls. While Jane was there, she was treated cruelly, but she became an intelligent young woman. While advertising for a governess job, Jane was hired by Mrs. Fairfax at Thornfield where she would be a governess and work for Edward Rochester a very wealthy man....   [tags: Jane Eyre, Love, Charlotte Brontë]

Better Essays
1001 words (2.9 pages)

Analysis Of The Novel ' Jane Eyre ' Essay

- The novel Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë can be identified as a Gothic novel, in that the eponymous heroine encounters all five of the essential elements: Edward Rochester as the Byronic hero, Bertha Mason as the evil, imprisoned woman, supernatural elements and psychological fears, and a haunted mansion. All of these elements combine to create a strong Gothic novel. Throughout the novel, Edward Rochester proves himself to be a Byronic hero, through his tall and dark figure, his mysterious past, and his yearn for the love of Jane....   [tags: Jane Eyre, Gothic fiction, Byronic hero]

Better Essays
1487 words (4.2 pages)

The Madwoman in the Attic: The Woman Writer and the Nineteenth-Century Literary Imagination

- The Madwoman in the Attic: The Woman Writer and the Nineteenth-Century Literary Imagination "And the lady of the house was seen only as she appears in each room, according to the nature of the lord of the room. None saw the whole of her, none but herself. For the light which she was was both her mirror and her body. None could tell the whole of her, none but herself" (Laura Riding qtd. by Gilbert & Gubar, 3). Beginning Gibert and Gubar’s piece about the position of female writers during the nineteenth century, this passage conjures up images of women as transient forms, bodiless and indefinite....   [tags: The Queen's Looking Glass]

Better Essays
2189 words (6.3 pages)

Analysis of Charlotte Bronte's Jane Eyre Essay

- Analysis of Jane Eyre In Jane Eyre, Charlotte Bronte portrays one woman's desperate struggle to attain her identity in the mist of temptation, isolation, and impossible odds. Although she processes a strong soul she must fight not only the forces of passion and reason within herself ,but other's wills constantly imposed on her. In its first publication, it outraged many for its realistic portrayal of life during that time. Ultimately, the controversy of Bronte's novel lied in its realism, challenging the role of women, religion, and mortality in the Victorian society....   [tags: Jane Eyre Essays]

Free Essays
1190 words (3.4 pages)