Missing Works Cited
Women in Victorian literature often came to be seen as "the other" or in more direct terms, as somehow demonized. This is certainly true in Jane Eyre. Bertha Mason, Rochester's mad wife, is the epitome of the demon in the attic. By virtue of being the first wife she is in continually compared to Jane. Although there are parallels in plot and language between the two women, they are completely different people. In addition, Bronte also depicts other women throughout the novel as something to be feared. Whereas earlier in English literature, men were typically depicted as monsters, in the nineteenth century women came to be seen as threatening creatures. They entrap men through their sexuality and then reveal their true demon-like natures.
Just as Jane is the angel in the house, Bertha represents her opposite--the demon in the house. Jane is a sober, sturdy Englishwoman of scrupulous morals. Bertha Mason, even before she goes mad, is depicted as an excitable foreigner of unacceptable values descended from a family of lunatics and idiots. She is shown as the exotic temptress whom Rochester cannot resist. He tells Jane:
She flattered me, and lavishly displayed for my pleasure her charms and accomplishments. All the men in her circle seemed to admire her and envy me. I was dazzled, stimulated my senses were excited; and being ignorant, raw, and inexperienced, I thought I loved her (332; ch. 27)
Bertha's behavior is diametrically opposed to Jane's. Jane does not flatter Rochester or over-stimulate his senses. Bronte is presenting readers with an ideal relationship as Jane and Rochester's marriage is not based on flirtation or lust alone. Bertha Mason is depicted as an Eve-li...
... middle of paper ...
...od-tempered, and well-principled" (475; ch. 38). Thus, it is only through Jane's help and a proper English school that Adele ceases to be the exotic seducer.
Many women in nineteenth century literature were depicted as demonized or something to be greatly feared either because of their sexuality or their resulting madness. Often times, these women were stereotyped as the "exotic other," such as Adele and Celine Varens. This is also true of Bertha Mason, Rochester's Creole wife, who has become a prisoner in the attic because of her madness. Bertha is often compared with Jane because of similar plot twists, but they are clearly intended as opposite characters. Because of Bertha's lax moral system she becomes prey to her own excesses. She suffers from moral madness which results from her lack of morality, and she is now depicted in all her brutish, vicious nature.
Need Writing Help?
Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.Check your paper »
- Bertha as Jane's Alter Ego in Jane Eyre "I resisted all the way," (chapter 2) Jane says as she is borne away to be locked in the red-room of Gateshead, where she will experience a fit of rage that inevitably arises from her physical and emotional entrapment. Jane evinces her refusal to accept passively restrictive male standards as well as the female predilection towards anger early in the novel. That night in the red-room, Jane experiences a vehement anger that she describes as "oppressed" and "suffocated." From this impassioned rage Jane falls unconscious, and upon waking in the nursery, Jane finds herself prepared to challenge both the oppressive patriarchal society in whic... [tags: Jane Eyre Essays]
1471 words (4.2 pages)
- An ‘Imaginative journey takes us from reality and transfer us into unreal existence that not only entertains us, but helps us learn more about the world we live in’ this statement can be used to emphasizes the imaginative journey that Charlotte Bronte explores in the novel Jane Eyre. The imaginative journey that Bronte takes the readers on is explored through her thoughts of the concepts of supernatural, religion and passion. Through the gothic genre Bronte is seen ‘exploring the imaginative journey’ in the novel Jane Eyre.... [tags: religion, imagery, passion]
671 words (1.9 pages)
- In the novel, Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte, Jane meets many people each with a different story, reason and each person played a part in her life. Those people have impacted her life in such a way that it changes Jane's life forever. In those parts of her life someone new came in, they impacted her life with something new, and that something new changed how she looks on the world from the past she had. Like one women named Bertha Antoinetta Mason Rochester. In Chapter 26, we discovered more about Bertha, a woman that looks like Jane's inner self, a wild and uncontrollable, and that she was locked away in the mansion for a long time.... [tags: Influence, People, Past]
606 words (1.7 pages)
- "It should not be possible to read nineteenth-century British literature, without remembering that imperialism, understood as England's social mission, was a crucial part of the cultural representation of England to the English." (Spivak, 1985, p, 12) Can these claims of Spivak be applied to Charles Dickens' Great Expectations and Charlotte Bronte's Jane Eyre and to what extent do these novelists draw from the colonial discourse in their representation of the `non- Western world'. The Victorian novel has performed an important service in Eurocentric epistemologies and colonial ideologies in formulating the colonial discourse and establishing the alterity of `self' and the `Other'.... [tags: European Literature]
3020 words (8.6 pages)
- Charlotte Bronte's Jane eyre and Jean Rhys' Wide Sargasso Sea The Sargasso Sea is a relatively still sea, lying within the south-west zone of the North Atlantic Ocean, at the centre of a swirl of warm ocean currents. Metaphorically, for Jean Rhys, it represented an area of calm, within the wide division between England and the West Indies. Within such an area, a sense of stability, permanence and identity may be attained, despite the powerful, whirling currents which surround it. But outside of this ?sea?, one may be destabilised, drawn away by these outside forces, into the vast expanse of ?ocean.... [tags: Compare Contrast Bronte Rhys Essays]
3360 words (9.6 pages)
- In Charlotte Bronte’s novel Jane Eyre, the author juxtaposes the representations of femininity of Bertha Mason and the title character to champion Bronte’s ideal conceptualization of independent women. Coventry Patmore, a 19th century English poet, in his collection of poems entitled The Angel in the House, propounds his abstraction of a supposedly idealized relationship between men and women, with a specific focus on women’s responsibilities associated with romantic bonds. In “The Wife’s Tragedy,” Patmore asserts that “Man must be pleased; but him to please / Is woman’s pleasure” (1-2).... [tags: Jane Eyre, Marriage, Charlotte Brontë, Wife]
1396 words (4 pages)
- Jane Eyre as an Independent Woman Jane Eyre was probably the most shocking and controversial novel of it’s time. Not only was it almost unheard of for a readable novel to be written by a woman, but the views and opinions expressed by the character of Jane Eyre were unthinkable and before their time. In the eighteenth century, when Queen Victoria was at the height of her reigning day, People were far more reserved that the people of today. People were much more prudish and kept themselves to themselves.... [tags: Jane Eyre Charlotte Bronte Essays]
1908 words (5.5 pages)
- “I am no bird; and no net ensnares me; I am a free human being with an independent will.” (Bronte, Jane Eyre). This quote expresses Charlotte’s beliefs on women’s equalities. Charlotte Bronte was born in 1816. She was one of six children and lived in Yorkshire County England. She first worked as a governess in the Sidewick family then in the White family for only nine months. Charlotte wanted more for herself, and none of her jobs satisfied her ambitions. When she moved back home, she discovered her sister, Emily’s, poetry and decided to publish a selection of the poems all three sisters wrote.... [tags: Jane Eyre Essays]
1313 words (3.8 pages)
- How can a girl, who started out with nothing, blossom into a well educated, generous, blissful woman. Well, in Jane Eyre, the main character overcomes all obstacles thrown at her and makes a great life for herself. From a miserable, orphaned young girl to a happily married, well educated woman, Jane Eyre transforms immensely throughout the novel. Through her many experiences in essential locations, she grows significantly at Gateshead, Lowood School, Thornfield, Marsh End, and Ferndean. The novel begins at Gateshead where Jane is a young, ten year old, orphaned child who is miserable and unwanted by her aunt and cousins.... [tags: Jane Eyre eSSAYS]
2408 words (6.9 pages)
- ane Eyre is a story filled with many forms of abuse and bad customs. In this essay I will bring you close to these. I will point out tyrants and abusers that Jane faces throughout her life. Jane Eyre Is also filled with hypocrisy and I will expose that. The suffering that Jane endures will be discussed. The book Jane Eyre starts out very powerful. Our first meeting of Jane is at Gateshead. Jane is an orphan who is being taken care of by Mrs. Reed her aunt by marriage. There is no love for Jane here; not only that the only thing here for Jane is abuse.... [tags: Free Jane Eyre Essays]
3036 words (8.7 pages)