The Gothic as an Outlet for the Repression of the Society

The Gothic as an Outlet for the Repression of the Society

The gothic is shown as an outlet for the repression of the society in

many ways. In Jane Eyre, immorality, women, madness and sexual

desires/passions are being suppressed to ensure that they do not occur

on the surface. However, the Gothic uses archetypal symbols,

unexpressed passions, the double, madness, death, darkness and

supernatural as an outlet for repression.

Irrational and aberrant desires are shunned upon in any conservative

society that functions on reason and logic. Therefore institutions

like religion and moral codes are established, hitherto to modern

days, to maintain a status quo and repress such behavior. The Gothic,

on the other hand, provides its reader with a vicarious thrill of

unleashing such behavior through its fascination with the

supernatural. Through her dreams, Jane Eyre projects her inner rage

towards Thornfield hall it confines her. She believes that "[t]o pass

its threshold was to return to stagnation", subjected to the darkness

and repetition of women's work. Whereas the "rayless cells" and the

"viewless fetters" of Thornfield" are sources of her dread because

they represent the lack of a "power of vision" that would connect her

with wider knowledge, more varied activity and a larger world. Hence,

the latent desire to dismantle such a form of repression is expressed

in her dream whereby "Thornfield Hall was a dreary ruin, the retreat

of bats and owls", in the state of the aftermath of its destruction.

Her immense desires for a mother figure and her "inner voice of

feminist consciousness"(some critique) are also reflected in her dream

of the...

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...n as a

repressed woman. She inflicts terrifying violence only on men because

men are known as agents that tyrannize and reinforces patriarchal

values. This can be seen through her actions of biting and tearing

Mason and homicidal grappling with Rochester. Her madness in her

actions helps to portray her repressed feelings towards the unfair

patriarchal society.

By the end of the novel, Jane marries Rochester, Bertha Mason dies and

Rochester is symbolically castrated. This shows that everything that

is being unleashed have been reestablished. However, Jane and

Rochester's union takes place in Ferndean, an isolated place, showing

that their passion are still being repressed and not accepted by the

society. In conclusion, the Gothic serves as an outlet for the

repression of the society to a large extent in Jane Eyre.

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