Miller maintains that 'doubles may appear to come from the outside as a form of possession, or from the inside, as a form of projection' . Both novels explore this doubleness, between and within characters.
In Jane Eyre, the character of Bertha Mason can be viewed as both an external double and a projected double to Jane herself. Jane is full of vengeful, raging ire, (of which her name is indicative), and can thus find her literal double in Bertha. Her ire first manifests itself in the 'red room' scene of the opening chapter, foreshadowing the aggression which Bertha is to act out later. The 'fiend-like' Jane is threatened with being 'tied down' in 'bonds' (p7) if she will not submit to her oppression, just as Bertha is tied down after her attack on Rochester, her patriarchal oppressor. While Jane is described as 'a mad cat' (p7), the fully-realised madwoman we are told, flew at Mason and 'worried [him] like a tigress.' (p253).
Jane's battle for acceptance within the patriarchal prison in which she lives, however, necessitates a suppression of this anger. It is this stifling of her selfhood which generates the projected double, which will later actually emerge from Jane's psyche into a materialised separate entity - the stereotype of female madness. Bertha becomes the perpetrator of Jane's impulses, acting out the hidden rage which burns fiercely within her.
In Lowood, through the pacifying influences of Helen Burns and Miss Temple, Jane acquires restraint. However, this passivity can only be borrowed, as both... [continues]
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(2008, 06). The Representation of the Doubleness of Selfhood in Charlotte Bronte's Jane Eyre and Jean Rhys's Wide Sargasso Sea. StudyMode.com. Retrieved 06, 2008, from http://www.studymode.com/essays/Representation-Doubleness-Selfhood-Charlotte-Brontes-Jane-151889.html
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