The Foils of Jane Eyre

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The Foils of Jane
Though Blanche, from Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë, thinks that opposites attract and thus that she will marry Rochester, Brontë has different ideas about foils. Near the end of the novel Jane marries Rochester effectively quieting Blanche’s ideas. However, Brontë does use foils in the novel for a different reason. She uses characters will opposite personalities to reveal more about them, and to keep the reader from overlooking many of the major characters’ traits. For instance, without Blanche, who is a foil of Jane, one may have thought Jane a simple and plain governess and nothing more. Similarly, without St. John the reader could have missed Rochester’s passionate side, or with no Mrs. Reed how supportive Miss Temple really is. Using foils, Brontë reveals more about the personalities of the major characters, and keeps the reader from overlooking many traits. One can see that Jane and Blanche are opposites from before they even meet. While Jane is rather plain and unattractive on the outside, Blanche is described as beautiful with, “the noble bust, the sloping shoulders, the graceful neck, the dark eyes and black ringlets” (183) Even Jane cannot deny that Blanche is beautiful. In addition, Blanche grows up in a rich noble family while Jane is an orphan who was sent to a lowly boarding school. The opposites do not stop at their looks and backgrounds, for even Jane and Blanche’s personalities are completely different. Jane is an independent, passionate, and respectful young woman, although she often seems very practical and rational. Blanche flaunts herself, gossips, talks about marriage, and can be very rude as shown when she says “she (Jane) looks too stupid for any game of the sort” (194). While Jane was in the room, Blanche speaks loudly and rudely of her without a second thought. In addition, Blanche only wants Rochester as her husband for his money, and for the title of a wife. She likes the fact that he is not handsome because as a...
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