Incomplete Works Cited
The prevalence of fire imagery and it's multitude of metaphoric uses in Charlotte Bronte's Jane Eyre expresses two things that could not be expressed openly in the Victorian Period, which are mainly passion and sexuality. Brontes writing was dictated by the morals of her society, but her ideas were not. Jane Eyre was written with the Victorian reader in mind. Bronte knew that if she were to write about these two things directly she would have to face possible rejection of her book. A resolution to this dilemma was to awaken the audience in a way that society deemed not only respectable, but also acceptable. So Bronte creates Jane, and Jane becomes the embodiment of these morals. She takes Victorian psychology of passion on as her own. The psychology of passion then becomes the novel's most dominant theme. Throughout Jane Eyre, passion becomes centrally focused on self-control, female sexuality, and its relationship to Bertha's insanity as images of fire.
Jane Eyre's images of fire bring to the forefront the contradictions that Victorian women faced in fulfilling their passionate needs and while maintaining self-control. Jane is confronted with the duality of freeing herself from the constraints of society and her fears of releasing the consuming energy of her sexuality. Jane keeps these feelings and passions in stringent check because she does not want to give in to the fires she feels inside, but is always struggling to do so. David Lodge says this eloquently, "the heat emanates from a source of passionate love, not of vengeance, and the possibility of being consumed by it is as seductive as it is terrifying" (128). Jane thus creates fire and uses this ...
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...'s eyes. Through the destruction of Bertha, Jane is able to come to terms with her idea of self-consuming passion. Berth's death was the liberating factor for Jane. It was the release of the suppressed passions that were dwelling inside her. The fires that Jane speaks after the reuniting of her and Rochester are of warmth and happiness. Jane says: "Can you tell when there is a good fire?," which is telling of the fact that she feels the fires inside are of a good nature now.
The fires that represent the passions of the characters in the novel have great significance in Victorian society. Bronte knew this and added to it social commentary on passion and sexuality in one of the most ingenious books of its time, Jane Eyre.
Bronte, Charlotte. Jane Eyre. London, Penguin Books Ltd.: 1996. (Edited with an Introduction and Notes by Michael Mason).
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- Fire Imagery in Charlotte Bronte's Jane Eyre Incomplete Works Cited The prevalence of fire imagery and it's multitude of metaphoric uses in Charlotte Bronte's Jane Eyre expresses two things that could not be expressed openly in the Victorian Period, which are mainly passion and sexuality. Brontes writing was dictated by the morals of her society, but her ideas were not. Jane Eyre was written with the Victorian reader in mind. Bronte knew that if she were to write about these two things directly she would have to face possible rejection of her book.... [tags: Charlotte Bronte Jane Eyre]
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