The First Instance of Weather Symbolism in Jane Eyre

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ane Eyre the protagonist Jane is isolated in her own home, in which she is treated as an unwelcomed guest, and the author begins to illustrate and convey the feelings of entrapment and constraint to the reader in this passage, often done with symbolic representation of emotion through the weather and nature in gothic novels such as this. She combines this symbolism with desolate diction and structure that mimics Jane’s daily life to communicate the feeling of imprisonment and constraint experienced at Gateshead. When one lives life without love, in an atmosphere of resentment they often become depressed. In Jane’s case it mostly revolves around this home in which she cannot leave. Jane is seldom allowed to speak, let alone speak her mind, she is treated like a second class citizen and because of this she is entrapped in her own mind as well as this house she “has no possibility” of leaving as she puts it in line one. The author begins to reveal these emotions through the weather surrounding Jane; the storm surrounding the house for example is symbolically surrounding Jane’s heart. In the second sentence Bronte begins to describe an outdoor scene in which she mentions a “leafless shrubbery”, a plant that is obviously hibernating for winter and has thus receded into itself much like the way the real Jane has been trapped inside her own head. When imagined a leafless shrubbery is quite dead looking and can only be really determined dead or alive by what the season is and as such as long as Jane remains in this home so associated with winter she will continue to be hibernating and emotionally dead. In the fourth line the weather is described as quite bleak and desolate, “the cold winter winds had brought with it clouds so somberand rain so penetrating that further outdoor exercise was now out of the question.” (Line 4-6) Such a description evokes powerful imagery when associated as symbolic of Jane's emotional state. The cold winter winds are the home in...
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