Literary Techniques of Charlotte Bronte Essay

Literary Techniques of Charlotte Bronte Essay

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Q: Analyse the methods Charlotte Bronte uses to make the reader empathise with Jane Eyre in the opening chapters. Reflect on how the novel portrays Victorian ideology and relate your analysis to the novel's literary context.

In the novel, Jane, an orphan girl, is victimised and suffers many hardships in her daily life at the hands of the Reed family. With the Reed family, she is a victim of constant verbal, emotional and physical abuse Charlotte Bronte uses many techniques to make the reader empathise with Jane and to express her feelings and mindset. She uses psychological landscapes, pathetic fallacy and other methods.

The novel was published in 1847 under the male pseudonym Currer Bull. Bronte chose to disguise her feminity when publishing the book because of prejudice to women in Victorian society. They were treated as lower class citizens, without any rights and in the complete control of the men in their lives. The novel is a mirror-image of Bronte's suffering and mistreatment in her Victorian upbringing. I will reflect on how the novel portrays and contrasts with Victorian ideology.

In the opening chapter, Charlotte Bronte uses 'psychological landscapes' to express Jane's feelings and mindset. Psychological landscape is a literary form which refers to a technique used by writers. The environments surrounding characters tell us as much about them as about the world they inhabit.

An example from the text, "There was no possibility of taking a walk that day. We had been wandering, indeed, in the leafless shrubbery an hour in the morning". We can learn a great deal about Jane from the psychological landscaping in 'leafless shrubbery'. To a living thing, its leaves are of the greatest significance. They represent gro...


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...image comes across of women being passionate and hysterical creatures. Because of this stereotype, they had no vote, no say and were only entrusted with matters of the house and childcare

In conclusion, Charlotte Bronte uses many effective methods to empathise the reader with Jane. Soon the reader begins to establish a relationship with Jane and perceive her predicament. Soon the themes underlying the chapter become apparent. We see how, in her presentation of John and Jane, Bronte is trying to expose Victorian ideology and its female stereotype. Such assertions such as "convention is not morality" and "self-righteousness is not religion" from the preface to the second edition of the novel deepen the readers understanding of the novel, its context, and its background. Bronte has achieved highly in getting such a powerful and moving message across through the novel.

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