Jane Eyre

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Jane Eyre
In what ways is Jane Eyre like or unlike a gothic novel?

Gothic novels were around from 1764 until about 1820 the gothic novels were said to have started with the castle of otranto by Horace warpole in 1764. Some features that can define a gothic novel are things such as terror, mystery, the supernatural, doom, death, decay, haunted buildings, ghost's, madness, hereditary problems and so on. Jane Eyre is not a gothic novel but it seems to have elements which are like that of a gothic novel.

Jane Eyre is set in an old castle the eventually ends in ruins. It has secret rooms behind tapestry's and dark corridors. Jane can see an awe inspiring landscape from the battlements of the castle. All of these elements of the setting of Jane Eyre have gothic elements to them, although they may have not been intended to have been slightly gothic.

There are events in Jane Eyre that are gothic in nature such as in chapter 20 Mr Rochester's wife bertha, which has a hereditary disease which makes her become insane attacks her own brother saying that ‘she'd drain his heart' and takes a chunk out of his arm with her teeth. This shows elements of a gothic novel- madness, hereditary problems, terror and mystery. Also in chapter 15 there is an unexplained event which leaves Jane very confused, bertha escapes from the room in which she is kept and comes down to Mr Rochester's room and sets fire to his bed in the dead of night. A ‘demoniac laugh – low, suppressed, and deep-uttered' woke Jane up and it seemed to be coming from the keyhole of her chamber. There are several more incidents in Jane Eyre that also convey gothic elements.

Some of the characters in Jane Eyre can be seen as gothic, gothic novels sometimes contain a tyrannical male although Mr Rochester cannot be called over all tyrannical he does have some characteristics that can cause us to associate him with a tyrannical male out of a gothic novel, he is impulsive and powerful and sometimes convinces Jane...
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