Painting Analysis in Jane Eyre

Best Essays
Drawing a Breath of Fresh Eyre From the opening chapter of Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre the reader becomes aware of the powerful role that art plays. There is something extraordinary about the pictures Jane admires from other artists, as well as the work she creates herself. Her solitary pastime often operates as an outlet of pain, either past or present, and offers her the opportunity to deal with unpleasant emotions and memories. Jane’s art transcends her isolation by bringing her into contact with others who see it; it functions as a bridge between her desire to be alone and her need for companionship. Despite her struggles with inner conflict and the people in her life, Jane’s art helps her find personal power, marking her true identity as her own woman. Whether it is her love of drawings or the creations of her own, artwork has provide Jane a means of agency to survive the harrowing conditions afforded to the orphan child, allowing her to emerge as a wealthy, independent social equal. The first glimpse of Jane’s resourcefulness and mental escape comes from one of the first activities in the novel. She escapes from her powerless place in the hostile Reed household temporarily through a book “taking care that it should be one stored with pictures” (2). She retreats to a solitary window-seat, “having drawn the red moreen curtain nearly close... shrined in double retirement,” and buries herself in Berwick’s A History of British Birds (2). The window offered protection, but not separation from the outside: “At intervals, while turning over the leaves of my book, I studied the aspect of that winter afternoon” (2). Through the images and quotes contained therein, Jane manages to acquire the only kind of power to she access to- knowledge, “Each picture told a story; mysterious often to my undeveloped understanding and imperfect feelings, yet ever profoundly interesting” (3). Her interpretation of the illustrations provides training for the young girl,


Cited: Azim, Firdous. “Rereading Feminism’s Texts in Jane Eyre and Shirley.” The Colonial Rise of the Novel: From Aphra Behn to Charlotte Brontë. London: Routledge, 1993. Brontë, Charlotte. Jane Eyre. New York: Barnes and Noble, Inc, 2001. Cassell, Cara Diss. Georgia State University, 2001. Gates, Barbara Gilbert, Sandra. “Plain Jane’s Progress.” Signs, Vol.2 (1977): 779-804. Kromm, Jane. “Visual Culture and Scopic Custom in Jane Eyre and Villette.” Victorian Literature and Culture, Vol. 26 (1998): 369-394. Losano, Antonia. The Woman Painter in Victorian Literature. Columbus: Ohio State University Press, 2008. Marcus, Sharon PMLA, Vol.110 (1995): 206-219 Millgate, Jane Newman, Beth. “Excepts from Subjects on Display.” Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre: A Case Book. Ed. Elsie Browning Michie. NewYork: Oxford University Press, 2006. Starzyk, Lawrence. “The Gallery of Memory”: The Pictorial in Jane Eyre.” Papers on Language and Literature, Vol.33 (1997): 288-307.

You May Also Find These Documents Helpful

  • Good Essays

    Jane Eyre Essay

    • 413 Words
    • 2 Pages

    While reading this book, the reader may pity Jane. Charlotte Bronte creates a consistent thread until the end of the book. Jane struggles with the same problem throughout the work, which is betrayal. She deals with it a place that was supposed to be her home, school and the work place.…

    • 413 Words
    • 2 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    In addition, firstly, fire and water imagery symbolize in Gateshead, when Jane is speaking of her loneliness in Gateshead's famous red room where Mr. Reed died. Red room described its haunted atmosphere of fear by the description of the physical aspects of the room because of the Gothic status of this novel. But some critics argue that red room was a symbol of the womb for Jane in order to reborn as an obedient child, that is why she locked in the red room. The first stage of Jane’s life with Reed family was angry and hungry for instance, she was angry because of her isolation, moreover, she was hungry for a family love. Fire is symbolic of her emotions, which shows her internal anger when she called cruel and murderer to her cousin John Reed because she is an orphan and a poor child.…

    • 325 Words
    • 2 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    Jane Eyre, by Charlotte Bronte 1847, is a novel to which human experience and self-determination is prominent. Bronte writes with such lyrical momentum, carrying the reader throughout the novel and allowing them to get a sense of her human experience to which her resilience is evident. The significance of resilience is conveyed throughout the novel repetitively and through the thorough form of Bildungsroman. There is an emphasis on Social Status, Love and the motif of nature and dualities used by Bronte to express the notion of Human experience, informing and leading the audience on a journey throughout the novel. By exploring these key area’s of the novel, Bronte directs and evolves an interpretation that can then appreciate the portrayal of human experience and reinforce the significance of resilience.…

    • 1036 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    Published in 1847, under the pseudonym Currer Bell, Jane Eyre, is “ one of the most widely read of English novels.” Written by Charlotte Bronte, this novel made a major impact on the Victorian reading public, as well as today’s viewing public. With about thirteen television and film adaptations, it is not surprising that Jane Eyre is one of the most filmed novels. Unlike most books of its time, Jane Eyre took its readers on a journey into the restricted life of women living in the nineteenth century. For certain, these nineteenth century women were dominated by the overbearing men of their time. Thought to be submissive and unreasoning, women were expected to allow the men in their lives to make all decisions. In this novel, Jane Eyre, an orphan, applies the education and tools she gained throughout her life of struggle to become a strong, independent woman. Along the way, Jane repeatedly faces alienation from society, yet works to find happiness for herself. Through this, it is evident that Bronte conveys an alienation theme by exhibiting Jane’s isolation from society, and Jane’s struggle to find a place in the social hierarchy.…

    • 836 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    Jane Eyre Essay

    • 1050 Words
    • 5 Pages

    What defines a family? What magical bond of love has the ability to connect a group of people? The quest for true family is a subject heavily explored in the novel Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte. The singular protagonist, Jane Eyre, is a "poor, obscure, plain, and little" (Bronte 292) young woman living in nineteenth century England who is orphaned at an early age. Knowing little about the cause of her parents' death or the possible existence of any relatives, Jane is brought up at Gateshead under the tyrannical presence of her aunt and three cousins, and she experiences abuse on all different levels: emotional, physical, and mental. After breaking free of this "family", many years later, Jane comes into contact with the Rivers family. She forms a close relationship with three benevolent people who turn out to be her cousins, and Jane finds the closest thing to a family in her life by residing with them. There is concrete evidence in Jane Eyre, as mentioned in Oates’ introduction, that Jane’s familial relationships in her lifetime strengthen her and define her as a person. Jane’s longing for a true family, which is painfully brought out by the cruelty of the Reeds, is satisfied by a newfound relationship with the Rivers siblings at Whitcross.…

    • 1050 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Powerful Essays

    Jane Eyre

    • 3711 Words
    • 15 Pages

    Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte utilizes the Victorian convention of the orphaned heroine who is forced to find her way in the world. Two popular feminist theorists, Sandrs M. Gilbert and susan Gubar have said in their essay “The Madwoman in the Attic” that there is a trend int the literary history that places women characters into one of the two stereotypes : either the “passive angel” or the “active monster”. The “angel” image is one of the domesticated woman whose ultimate goal is to please and tend to her husband and family. However,Charlotte bromte did not limit her characterization to this strict dichotomy between monster and angel. Jane eyre herself possesses many of the qualities of the angel:she is pure,moral and controlled in her behaviour. Yt,at the same time,she is passionate,independent and courageous. She refuses to submit to apposition of inferiority to the men in her life,even when faced with a choice between love and autonomy and ultimately triumphs over social expectations. Moreover,her childhood experiences demonstrate the same rebelliousness and anger that characterize”the monster”. Her appearance of control and patience is learnt at her staya y Lowood though she stillll maintains the fiery spirit that defined her charactera s a child.…

    • 3711 Words
    • 15 Pages
    Powerful Essays
  • Good Essays

    Jane Eyre, a Gothic novel by Charlotte Bronte, tells a story of a beauty and a beast. Jane Eyre grows up an orphaned girl in Victorian England who does not know love in her cruel aunt's household; after a few years her aunt sends her to a school where they abuse Jane further. After spending eight years as a student of Lowood and two as a teacher, she takes a nanny position where she meets Mr. Rochester, and sparks begin to fly. Bronte divides Jane's story into three significant sections, which have a different effect on Jane's life as seen at Gateshead, Lowood, and Thornfield .…

    • 328 Words
    • 2 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    Jane Eyre Research Paper

    • 1445 Words
    • 6 Pages

    In the novel Jane Eyre, author Charlotte Brontë emphasizes the religious aspect of life during the Victorian Era. Near the beginning of the preface Brontë states, “Conventionality is not morality. Self-righteousness in not religion”(Brontë, 1). With this statement, Brontë criticizes pseudo-religious manner in which many members of Victorian society live. She chastises her contemporaries for leading a life where empty words of justice and virtue are preceded by inconsistent behavior. Through the actions of the Reed family and Mr. Brocklehurst, Charlotte Brontë denounces the Victorian aristocracy for their self-righteous attitudes and their paltry treatment of members of lower social classes.…

    • 1445 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    Jane Eyre

    • 1057 Words
    • 5 Pages

    Bronte critically challenges what was generally portrayed about women’s feelings and their emotions in the 19th century. Bronte’s view about women is that they “…are supposed to be very calm generally: but [they] feel just as men feel; they need exercise for their faculties, and a field for their efforts as much as their brothers do.” The use of first person, through Jane, articulates Bronte’s feelings directly as they happen, providing a more detailed and insightful response to readers. The way in which Bronte communicates her views about women’s feelings and their emotions, using very assertive language, would have evoked fiery debate among Victorian readers because the expected values of women in this time period would have involved them being emotionless and entirely dependent on their master’s, either being their father or husband.…

    • 1057 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Satisfactory Essays

    Jane Eyre, by Charlotte Brontë, has many meanings that can be found by reading it through different lenses. By looking through Jane Eyre with a biographical lenses, it gives the impression that Charlotte Brontë mirrored her own life and added her dreams into Jane’s life. This interpretation is significant through the fact that it gives more depth into the characters that she is writing about.…

    • 240 Words
    • 1 Page
    Satisfactory Essays
  • Satisfactory Essays

    Charlotte Bronte is the author of the novel Jane Eyre about an orphaned girl struggling throughout the novel to achieve equality and to overcome oppression. In the opening 3 chapters, Bronte emphasizes Jane’s loneliness, lack of familial affection and emphasizes her sensitive nature and inner strength. As we witness Jane being punished and neglected at the hands of her unfeeling aunts and left feeling isolated and out of place in her society.…

    • 256 Words
    • 2 Pages
    Satisfactory Essays
  • Powerful Essays

    Jane Eyre Research Paper

    • 1525 Words
    • 7 Pages

    The story of a woman who comes from the worst circumstances to grow and prosper by breaking the rules set for her is relevant in many different works of literature. Jane, the endearing heroine in Charlotte Bronte’s Jane Eyre, breaks through barriers set for women during the Victorian Era.…

    • 1525 Words
    • 7 Pages
    Powerful Essays
  • Better Essays

    Jane Eyre Art Essay

    • 1317 Words
    • 6 Pages

    By convention, artwork – both in the illustrative and written medium – serves as a literal representation of an idea. Brush strokes paint vivid colors in hopes of capturing an iconic moment, and words are deliberately structured to tell a moving story. At its core, any form of art fulfills the capacity to capture life; yet it is the hope of true artwork to not only represent, but rather provide meaning. Artwork, and in particular ekphrastic descriptions of that artwork, serve as a recurring theme placed at the forefront of Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre. The novel uses Jane’s myriad occurrences with various forms of artwork to provide insight into the understanding of the semantics of emotional expression, and rather than project art through…

    • 1317 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Better Essays
  • Powerful Essays

    Eng4U Essay

    • 2210 Words
    • 9 Pages

    Carefully crafted by Charlotte Brontë, Jane Eyre is the speaker of the repressed female voice. Jane Eyre is an orphan, knowing well that she is poor, plain and obscure. Jane’s congenital characteristics are incompatible with popular culture in the first half of the nineteenth century since she pursues equality, liberty and independence from men. Sacrificing her dignity to compromise with men and social customs would never be her choice; instead, she chooses to stand up and rebel bravely. Her special traits are both charming and bizarre. Rebellion is highlighted in her childhood. This is vividly characterized through her conversation with her…

    • 2210 Words
    • 9 Pages
    Powerful Essays
  • Good Essays

    Charlotte Brontë’s “Jane Eyre” borrows the name of the novel’s central character, Jane Eyre. The Victorian and Roman inspired narrative documents Jane’s time of being an orphaned girl at Gateshead suffering under the unjust rule of her biased aunt, her experience as an underprivileged student at an all girl’s school for other orphans, and Jane’s employment as a governess. Charlotte Brontë carefully weaves the essential theme self-identity through “Jane Eyre” as a crucial component in the development of Jane as a person and the conclusion of her story. Moreover, Jane Eyre and her journey through Gateshead, Lowood, and Thornfield concisely represent Jane and how she identifies herself as someone who cannot accept injustice or bias, but whose moral conviction is strong enough to prevent these ideals from overshadowing what Jane knows to be right.…

    • 575 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Good Essays