Jane Eyre Mystery and Suspense

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Discuss how Charlotte Bronte creates mystery and suspense in Jane Eyre. Mystery and suspense play a key part in creating an atmosphere for the reader and foreshadowing coming events. Bronte establishes an air of mystery and suspense throughout the book; from Jane Eyre and Mr Rochester’s first meeting to the reveal of Bertha. She uses many techniques to create this atmosphere, engaging the reader and crafting a very effective plot. Bronte subtly uses aptronyms to generate a mysterious feel for the reader – for example, ‘Thornfield’. A ‘thorn’ is the sharp projecting point on a plant, and by using this, Bronte foreshadows the difficult time Jane has at Thornfield. This name also makes the reader curious, as it is an unusual and quite negative name. Bronte sustains the reader’s curiosity during the meeting between Mr Rochester and Jane Eyre. The setting of the hill top path with the ‘rising moon’ and ‘absolute hush’ builds a picture of a very quiet, isolated place in the reader’s mind. This setting is usually used in other stories when something bad is about to happen, so the suspense is high here. Jane’s memories of Bessie’s tales about the ‘Gytrash’ add terror to the scene, where an onlooker would see none. Bronte also connects with the reader’s senses; ‘a tramp tramp, a metallic clatter’ and ‘a rush under the hedge’. By not stating what the noises are made by, it produces a very mysterious and unnerving situation which the reader is drawn into. Bronte extends this idea with the structure of the sentences. In this paragraph, the sentences are long but with a lot of punctuation for pauses. For example, ‘It was very near, but not yet in sight; when, in addition to the tramp, tramp, I heard a rush under the hedge.’ This reflects Jane’s thought process; she is nervous so her thoughts are broken and fleeting. The description of Mr Rochester also adds mystery. He is ‘enveloped in a riding cloak’, ‘had a dark face, with stern features’ and ‘considerable breadth of...
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