Jane Eyre: the Main 5 Gothic Elements

Topics: Jane Eyre, Gothic fiction, Charlotte Brontë Pages: 3 (816 words) Published: September 4, 2011
Charlotte Bronte's ,Jane Eyre, is considered by many to be a Gothic novel. There are many elements to Gothic literature. However after much research, I have come up with the five main characteristics that define every Gothic novel. First, there is always a helpless victim who is usually a female. Second, there is a cruel and evil victimizer/ villain/ torturer. Third, the victim is imprisoned or trapped within impenetrable walls such as a castle or a mansion. Fourth, there is a sense of mystery, darkness, suspense, loneliness, horror, and other similar and related feeling in the atmosphere. Fifth, the occurrence of supernatural events. All five of these characteristics are portrayed in Jane Eyre.

In Jane Eyre, Jane Eyre herself is the victim. Jane was victimized, bullied, and humiliated many times during her life. The story of Jane Eyre begins in Gateshead, an old manor owned by Mrs. Reed, Jane's aunt. There she was treated poorly and constantly bullied and tormented. She was then sent away to an all girls orphanage school called Lowood School. There she was also treated badly and the conditions were horrible. After that, Jane's life was turning around to be better. She got a job as a governess in Thornfield, where at first,she was excluded by the other maids and servants, and teased by her master. However, that was nothing compared to what she has already been through.

Most of the victimizing that happened to Jane was when she was a young girl. In Gateshead, Aunt Reed and her three children John, Eliza, and Georgiana were her victimizers/torturers. They resented her presence and made her feel unwanted. Aunt Reed and John were the cruelest of them all. Aunt Reed constantly made her feel self-conscious and trapped her away in the Red Room for days. John constantly bad-mouthed her and beat her. Then she was sent away to Lowood. There, Mr. Brocklehurst, the victimizer and hypocritical master of the Lowood School, treated Jane in particular worse than everybody...
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