Jane Eyre: a Gothic Novel

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Jane Eyre, written by Charlotte Brontë, is considered by many to be a "gothic" novel. The use of "supernatural" incidents, architecture, and a desolate setting helped to decide this classification for Jane Eyre.

Many cases exhibited the use of "supernatural" occurrences. For example, when Jane Eyre was ten years old, she was locked in a room called the "Red Room" for misbehaving. In this room, it was written that her uncle passed away there. Because of being told this, Jane Eyre believed that the light she saw float across the wall was her passed away uncle coming to avenge her mistreatment.

"Shaking my hair from my eyes, I lifted my head and tried to look boldly round the dark room; at this moment a light gleamed on the wall. Was it, I asked myself, a ray from the moon penetrating some aperture in the blind? No; moonlight was still, and this stirred; while I gazed, it glided up to the ceiling and quivered over my head…………I thought the swift-darting beam was a herald of some coming vision from another world." (page 12)

To further prove this point, an incident occurred in the Rochester house that, at the time it arose, was considered "supernatural." On an unsuspecting night, while Jane Eyre attempted to sleep, she was startled by demonic laughter. As Jane Eyre opened her door to find out who caused the laughter, she noted the hall dim, as if full of smoke. As she looked over to Mr. Rochester's door, she noticed smoke pouring out of the room. Upon inspection, she discovered the room fully ablaze. Although the incident is eventually explained later in the book, the reader might consider it quite "supernatural" and unexplainable.

The fire in Mr. Rochester's room also helps to validate the idea of a "gothic" novel by architecture. Buildings constructed under the idea of "gothic" architecture are noted for being elaborately built and "rising toward Heaven." Thornfield Hall meets this idea perfectly. The structure of Thornfield...
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