Fire Imagery in Charlotte Bronte's Jane Eyre Essays

Fire Imagery in Charlotte Bronte's Jane Eyre Essays

Length: 2653 words (7.6 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Powerful Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

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. 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 ...


... middle of paper ...


...'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.

Works Cited:

Bronte, Charlotte. Jane Eyre. London, Penguin Books Ltd.: 1996. (Edited with an Introduction and Notes by Michael Mason).

Need Writing Help?

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

Check your paper »

Fire Imagery in Charlotte Bronte's Jane Eyre Essays

- 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]

Powerful Essays
2653 words (7.6 pages)

Essay on Imagery in Charlotte Bronte's Jane Eyre

- Imagery in Jane Eyre     Charlotte Bronte wrote the novel Jane Eyre in the mid-eighteen hundreds. In her novel she expresses her views on many important factors present during this time including social problems such as race, class, gender, and the role of religion. Each of these factors affects the way that the protagonist, Jane Eyre, grows as a person. Throughout the novel Charlotte Bronte uses images and symbols that either influence or represent Jane's growth. Bronte uses a common imagery throughout the novel reflecting images of "fire and ice." She also uses symbols in Jane's life such as the red-room, from her childhood, and the character Bertha Mason Rochester, during her t...   [tags: Jane Eyre Essays]

Powerful Essays
1086 words (3.1 pages)

Essay on Cold Imagery in Charlotte Bronte's Jane Eyre

- Cold Imagery in Charlotte Bronte's Jane Eyre Cold imagery is everywhere in Charlotte Bronte's Jane Eyre. There are various forms of cold imagery found in each character's personality and life experiences. Cold images take on various forms, such as Jane's descriptions of pictures in a book displaying the Arctic, and figurative language including ice, water, rain, and sleet. The descriptive imagery of coldness symbolizes both the repression of passion, physical and emotional, and the tribulations endured throughout the course of the novel....   [tags: Jane Eyre Essays]

Powerful Essays
3128 words (8.9 pages)

Fire and Heat Imagery in Charlotte Bronte's Jane Eyre Essay

- Fire and Heat Imagery in Charlotte Bronte's Jane Eyre The essence of any true magnificent piece of literature is not what one can see in words. It is what one can see behind the words. It is through the symbolism and imagery found in works of literature that a reader can truly connect with the writer. Charlotte Bronte epitomizes the spirit of the "unread but understood" in her Victorian work Jane Eyre. There have been numerous essays and theories presented examining the complex symbolism and imagery used by Bronte in Jane Eyre....   [tags: Jane Eyre Essays]

Powerful Essays
1566 words (4.5 pages)

Nature Imagery and Themes in Charlotte Bronte's Jane Eyre Essay

-     Charlotte Bronte makes use of nature imagery throughout Jane Eyre, and comments on both the human relationship with the outdoors and human nature.  The Oxford Reference Dictionary defines "nature" as "1. the phenomena of the physical world as a whole . . . 2. a thing's essential qualities; a person's or animal's innate character . . . 4. vital force, functions, or needs."  We will see how "Jane Eyre" comments on all of these.         Several natural themes run through the novel, one of which is the image of a stormy sea.  After Jane saves Rochester's life, she gives us the following metaphor of their relationship: "Till morning dawned I was tossed on a buoyant but unquiet sea ....   [tags: Jane Eyre Essays]

Free Essays
2006 words (5.7 pages)

Use of Elemental Imagery in Charlotte Bronte's Jane Eyre Essay

- Use of Elemental Imagery in Jane Eyre   The use of elemental imagery in Jane Eyre, sustained throughout the novel both metaphorically and literally, is one of Charlotte Brontë's major stylistic devices. The natural opposition of the two elements of water and fire ("the war of the earthly elements", as Jane puts it) highlights the need for the titular heroine to find equilibrium between points identified as extremes. However, as David Lodge notes, "we should be mistaken in looking for a rigidly schematic system of elemental imagery and reference in Jane Eyre"....   [tags: Jane Eyre Essays]

Powerful Essays
1972 words (5.6 pages)

Fire and Water Imagery in Charlotte Bronte's Jane Eyre Essay

- Fire and Water Imagery in Jane Eyre     Jane Eyre has to choose between the "temptation" of following the rule of passion by marrying Rochester, which would have made her dependent on him and not his equal, or of living a life of complete renunciation of all passions, by marrying St John Rivers. Fire and water imagery symbolizes the two forces competing for dominance in Jane Eyre, both on a personal and metaphorical level. Throughout the novel, such imagery is used by Brontë, in keeping with her use of much poetic symbolism, to develop character, strengthen thematic detail and establish mood....   [tags: Jane Eyre Essays]

Powerful Essays
2083 words (6 pages)

Fire and Water Imagery in Charlotte Bronte's Jane Eyre Essay

- Fire and Water Imagery in Jane Eyre     In Jane Eyre, the use of water and fire imagery is very much related to the character and/or mood of the protagonists (i.e. Jane and Rochester, and to a certain extent St. John Rivers) -- and it also serves to show Jane in a sort of intermediate position between the two men. However, it should also be noted that the characteristics attributed to fire and water have alternately positive and negative implications -- to cite an example among many, near the beginning of the novel, reference is made to the devastating effects of water ("ceaseless rain sweeping away wildly", "death-white realm" [i.e....   [tags: Jane Eyre Essays]

Powerful Essays
1664 words (4.8 pages)

Essay on Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte: An Imaginative Journey

- 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]

Powerful Essays
671 words (1.9 pages)

Charlotte Bronte's Jane Eyre Essay

- Charlotte Bronte's Jane Eyre 'Jane Eyre' was written in the mid-nineteenth century and is set during the Victorian period, at a time where a women's role in society was restrictive and repressive and class differences were distinct. A job as a governess was one of the only few respectable positions available to the educated but impoverished single women. Schools of the 19th century were strict, and they demanded much hard work and participation from the students, however, just the same, children of the time loved going to school....   [tags: Charlotte Bronte Jane Eyre Essays]

Powerful Essays
1696 words (4.8 pages)