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Jane Eyre Research Papers

Jane Eyre research papers are custom written on any aspect of Emily Bronte's novel. This classic novel is excellent for examining many aspects of literature. Have the writers at Paper Masters explain the novel, do a character sketch of Bertha Mason or write on any literary point you need explicated.

Jane Eyre facts:

  • Originally titled Jane Eyre: An Autobiography
  • Published October 16th, 1847
  • Published first in the United Kingdom
  • First person narrative on the main character, Jane Eyre

Jane Eyre research papers note that in great literature, it is the rare character that isn’t more than what they seem. Such is the case of Charlotte Bronte’s, Bertha Mason in Jane Eyre. Created as the sexually exotic, mentally insane wife of Edward Fairfax Rochester, she is the doppelganger that hovers over Jane Eyre throughout the novel.  To Jane, who in the beginning had designs upon Rochester, the discovery of his quite living skeleton-in-the-closet (or crazy-wife-in-the-attic) is heartbreaking. In the novel, Bertha represents not only the literal insanity of the character, but the suppressed raw sexuality that Jane and Edward cannot bring themselves to express. Brontë depicts sexuality as an evil, an inhuman urge to be repressed else civility may be lost. However, it is Bertha’s very sensuality, and her insanity, which draw Jane and Edward together, and eventually, to God.

Jane EyreCertainly, Bertha is mad. In fact, as Edward explains to Jane, “Bertha Mason is mad; and she came of a mad family; -- idiots and maniacs through three generations!”. But, as each member of her family is considered mad for a different reason, it is apparent that Bertha’s madness comes from her sensuality. Bertha represents three primal elements in the story.  She is exotic and otherworldly, which is how Bronte expresses sexuality in the novel. She is a warning to Jane of what might become of her if she were to stay with Rochester. Bertha is also the wild, all-powerful spirit of an angry woman.

The setting of the opening scene of the novel is the drawing-room of the family the orphan Jane Eyre is staying with, the Reeds. The description of the drawing room and Jane's relationship with this setting establish Jane's situation throughout most of the novel. The setting is one of a typical family gathered together in the comfort of their home with Jane as a marginal character. Although Jane is related to the Reeds, her place in relation to the family is more like a governess. Jane actually holds the position of a governess in later settings in the novel.

Jane's position is contrasted with the picture of a happy family in the comfort of their home. Mrs. Reed had "dispensed" Jane from joining the group. The reason Mrs. Reed has excluded Jane from "privileges intended only for contented, happy, little children" is because of something she had been told by Bessie, the children's nurse, about Jane's supposedly unpleasant disposition. Mrs. Reed does not even know just what the problem Bessie complained of was. Nonetheless, Mrs. Reed thinks poorly of Jane until she might change her mind depending on what the nurse says when she gets the chance to talk with her about the matter.

Rather than be saddened or angry by how she is being treated, Jane instead makes the best of it. Because Jane takes this prejudicial treatment in stride, the reader presumes that Jane must be used to it.

Jane goes by herself into a small breakfast-room adjoining the drawing-room where the family is gathered. "I slipped in there," Jane says after she has been unfairly admonished by Mrs. Reed. This simple act described by Bronte in the opening setting reveals much about Jane, her place in the settings throughout the novel, and her relationship to other characters. Jane does not cut herself off from the other characters despite how rudely she is treated. Nor does she argue with Mrs. Reed. Instead she simply goes into an adjoining room. Furthermore, in this small breakfast-room, Jane finds something positive to do. She picks out one of the books she finds there, one that is "stored with pictures." Jane makes herself comfortable even in the restricted space she has found for herself. "I mounted into the windowseat: gathered up my feet, I sat cross-legged, like a Turk." She pulls a "red moreen curtain" of the windowseat "nearly close" so that she "was shrined in double retirement." By shrining herself in "double retirement," Jane removes herself another step from the family in the next room. But she still does not cut herself entirely off from it. In thinking of herself "like a Turk," Jane implies that she has some feeling about herself as an outsider, a somewhat exotic outsider. To the Victorian English audience "Jane Eyre" was written for, Turks were seen as foreigners from the Middle East about whom little was know. In describing Jane as a Turk, Bronte connotes that she was seen as somewhat strange and foreign by the Reeds and other characters in the novel, and also that she felt that she was distant from the other characters and different from them.

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