Kevin Shao Georgia Neitzey Celeste Rogers Zahra Almatrood
The Romantic era of literature began during the late 1700’s and was especially prominent from 1800 to1840. Romanticism was partially inspired as a counterrevolution against the Age of Enlightenment by the aristocratic and the scientific rationalization of nature. Romanticism is often characterized by strong emphasis on the aesthetic appeal and mystery of nature as well as the emotions of apprehension, terror and awe.
The Victorian Age was the time of Queen Victoria’s rule over England: The Victorian Age coincides with the Romantic Age.This is when the author, Charlotte Brontë, lived.
Romantic characters are typically unique and individualistic. They are usually bold, as opposed to the era’s inclination for restraint. Romantic characters typically have an adopted faith system but reject absolute devotion to any one system.
Jane Eyre is a great example of a romantic character: She is straightforward and bold, shown by her conversations with Mr. Rochester. She is Christian although she isn’t especially devout. She is unique among all the characters of the novel, which is noticed by Mr. Rochester. She is very individualistic, earning a living on her own and traveling by herself most of the time. Miss Ingram and the rest of Mr. Rochester’s aristocratic friends are opposites of the romantic character archetype.
“I told her he rather an ugly man, but quite a gentleman; and that he treated me kindly, and I was content” (Brontë 243). When asked about Mr. Rochester, Jane is straightforward with her thoughts and doesn’t hesitate to call someone ugly, even though it’s regarded impolite, especially during that time period. “ ‘I scorn your idea of love,’ ” I could not help saying, as I rose up and stood before him, leaning my back against the rock. “ ‘I scorn the counterfeit sentiment you offer: yes, St. John, and I scorn you when you offer it’ ” (Brontë 444). When St. John asks Jane to marry him just so he can have an idealistic Christian wife, Jane doesn’t hesitate to tell him exactly what she thinks about his ideas, even at the risk of offending him. This bold action demonstrates Jane’s honest and straightforward nature.
Gothic literature usually includes a brooding male protagonist. Mr. Rochester as well as St. John are both Gothic male archetypes in this novel. Mr. Rochester shares many characteristics with Jane and is a paragon of Romantic heroes. Mr. RochesterSt. John Rivers
The setting ofJane Eyre takes place mainly in rural England. The weather coincides with Jane’s feelings and is often gloomy in the novel. Charlotte Brontë purposely leaves out the names of places and dates in the novel because she wants to make the novel realistic and so she leaves out specific details. Romantic literature typically has dreary settings. This is true of Jane Eyre locations of Lowood Institution, Ferndean Manor, Thornfield Hall, and Morton Village.
“To this house I came just ere dark on an evening marked by the characteristics of sad sky, cold gale, and continued small penetrating rain” (Brontë 468). In this quote, Jane arrives at the isolated Ferndean manor in a rather gloomy and desolate weather. The sky is dark and raining, and the dark manor is very uninviting. Ferndean manor, located in an undesirable location, is an example of a dreary setting in the novel. “The refectory was a great, low-ceiled, gloomy room; on two long tables smoked basins of something hot, which, however, to my dismay, sent forth an odour far from inviting” (Brontë 43). Lowood Institution is a very gloomy place for Jane at the start of her time there. The routine is strict, the institution itself is dark and dismal, the food is scare and sometimes inedible, and the winter weather only adds to the monotony and gloom. The various descriptions of Lowood all reflect these characteristics.
Romanticism emphasizes the individual and the individual’s journeys, which are often filled with eye-opening experiences for the individual. Jane Eyre’s travel locations (in chronological order): -Gateshead: Early years of residence until Lowood. -Lowood Institution: Formal education. -Thornfield Hall: Fills position of governess. -Moor House: Residence after flight from Thornfield. -Morton Village: Serves as teacher. -Ferndean: Seeks out Rochester; setting at novel’s end.
During the period of Romanticism, both the aristocracy and counterrevolutionaries had very idealistic attitudes towards how people should act, especially women. Aristocratic Ideals: Docile Patient Self-sacrificing Modest Pedantic Devout Examples: Every upper- class woman in 19 th century England. Romantic Ideals: Bold Independent Unique Strong-willed Eccentric Intelligent Examples: Jane and Rochester, Napoleon, Edmond Dantes (The Count of Monte Cristo).
Romanticism portrays nature as mysterious yet sublime, and romantic novels are full of strange twists of faith and supernatural occurrences.
No, not that Supernatural…
Jane discovers that St. John, Mary, and Diana are her cousins after they save her. Jane obtains a ₤20,000 inheritance from a deceased relative she’s never met. Miss Temple and Helen are both taken away from Jane, prompting her to move on from Lowood. Mr. Rochester’s wife dies in a fire, thus leaving Rochester single once more. Mr. Rochester’s loss of his eyes and one hand confines him in England, and so Jane is able to find him at the end of the novel.
Jane thinks she sees a ghost while locked in a room at Gateshead. Typhus fever afflicts Lowood Institution suddenly and disappears just as suddenly later. Jane hears screaming and wailing noises from the third floor at Thornfield Hall. A “gypsy” seems to be able to tell people’s futures. Mr. Rochester’s bed catches on fire and Mr. Mason is bitten and knifed by a mysterious figure. Jane hears Mr. Rochester calling for her at Moor House though he is physically absent. (It is later confirmed that Mr. Rochester did indeed call for her from Ferndean though the phenomenon is left unexplained).
“The cry died, and was not renewed. Indeed, whatever being uttered that fearful shriek could not soon repeat it: not the wildest- winged condor on the Andes could, twice in succession, send out such a yell from the cloud shrouding his eyrie” ( Brontë 219). This quote depicts the scene in which Jane wakes to a shrill cry from the third floor. Mr. Rochester doesn’t confide in her what the cause is and Jane is left in the dark about the issue. Strangely still, Mr. Mason is injured and bleeding. As a result, Jane thinks there’s a supernatural creature of some sort living on the third floor, and is wary while she tends to Mr. Mason’s wounds.