Displays of Supernatural in Jane Eyre

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Jane Eyre had always been set in her ways from when she spent her early childhood at Gateshead to reuniting with Mr. Rochester. Throughout the novel of Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bront, several instances of the supernatural are used in order to drive Janes journey of self- discovery.

Early on, when Jane had spent her tumultuous childhood at Gateshead, Bront displayed the supernatural through the use of the red room. The overwhelming red color scheme in the room, along with the horrendous treatment received at Gateshead, can be easily connected to the fiery pits of hell. Succumbing to the constant wave of being oppressed, suffocated that this room only heightened, Jane ended up passing out (Bronte 23). Her time done in the red room can also be seen as her final endurance at Gateshead due to the fact that having had enough of her inhuman treatment, she stands up to Aunt Reed and demands to be put into school, leading her to her next journey: Lowood. Later on in the book, readers see Jane Eyre refer back to the red room when something can possibly be haunting or reminds her of her time at Gateshead.

The Gytrash, another supernatural element, appears at the beginning of yet another chapter in her life: Thornfield. Her first ever encounter of Mr. Rochester was suspected he was the infamous Gytrash. The legend of Gytrash deals with an evil man that ended up taking a woman captive, letting her spend her last days locked up in his castle; however, his narcissistic, spiteful persona was only changed when the spirit of the maiden came back to haunt him. Bronte used Gytrash to allow readers to foreshadow how Mr. Rochesters persona will end up being and how he will treat Jane. The parallels in both Gytrash and Mr. Rochester is that they both have a woman locked up in their homes, and if it were not for Jane leaving both Mr. Rochester and Thornfield, she would have been just as confined and oppressed. As seen later in the novel, Mr. Rochesters self-absorbed, narcissistic behavior only rids his personality when Bertha is released and no longer a burden, just as the legend of Gytrash ends as well.

Bertha is seen as the demon that haunts Thornfield, Mr. Rochester, and Jane. Bertha is also viewed as the embodiment of what Jane fears she will become if she goes through with marrying Mr. Rochester. Jane viewed both marriage and Mr. Rochester as a place that will confine her, suffocate her, and evidently driver her mad; these thoughts become apparent when Jane sees Bertha tear her wedding veil in two the night before the wedding day. When Bertha is killed in the fire at Thornfield, this shows the readers that all of Janes thoughts and fears have also been dissolved in the fire because Jane finally became secure enough in who she is and what she values, and Mr. Rochester has let go of the suffocating attitudes he once obtained; thus allowing the two to be reunited and wedded.

The red room, the legend of Gytrash, and Bertha all allowed Jane to move towards who she wanted to be in a society to restrictive and oppressive towards females. The red room allowed her to realized the detrimental influence Gateshead had on her growth and mental state. The legend of Gytrash helps foreshadow her new journey at Thornfield, showing the obstacles ahead. Bertha physically displays the underlying doubts and fears Jane embodied when it came to her stand on marriage and marriage to Mr. Rochester; thus allowing her to venture on until she became everything she aspired and envisioned for herself in order to come back to marry her only love, Mr. Rochester.

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Displays of Supernatural in Jane Eyre. (2019, May 18). Retrieved April 17, 2024 , from
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