Foiled Again (Critical Writing: Literary Analysis/Research)
In Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte, Bronte’s use of foils to reveal Jane’s true character enriches the reader’s interest when reading the novel. Characters in the novel such as Georgina Reed, Blanche Ingram, Helen Burns, Bertha Mason and Mr. Rochester show a meaningful contrast to Jane’s personality. Georgina Reed and Blanche Ingram act as similar foils to Jane. Georgiana and Blanche have beautiful appearances and are spoiled while Jane has a plain appearance and is obedient. Abbot describes Georgiana, “her long curls and blue eyes, and such a sweet color as she has, just as if she were painted” (Bronte 23). This highlights Georgiana’s attractive appearance which contrasts Jane’s plain appearance. Jane is in a lower class than Georgiana or Blanche. Jane is a governess, a paid servant with low social status while Georgiana and Blanche have higher social statuses. One thing that contrasts Jane and Blanche is their love for Rochester. Jane’s love for Rochester is extremely deep and true while Blanche is only trying to marry Rochester for his wealth. Blanche also acts surpassingly cruel towards Jane while Jane doesn’t show any acts of cruelty. Blanche tells Mr. Rochester, ” You should hear mama on the chapter of governesses: Mary and I have had, I should think, a dozen at least in our day; half of them detestable and the rest ridiculous, and all incubi--were they not, mama?"(200). Blanche becomes rude about governesses because she knows that Jane can hear her remarks. According to Peters, “the way the Ingram party relegates Jane to the category of governesses (whom they considered to be completely outside their social group) also emphasizes Jane's place outside the social sphere at Thornfield” (Peters). Peter explains that because Jane is in a lower class than Blanche and her family, she is more likely to be downgraded. As a result, the contrasting personalities and behaviors between Georgina, Blanche and...
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