C Bronte | Jane Eyre | A Critical Study


C Bronte | Jane Eyre | A Critical Study

C Bronte | Jane Eyre | A Critical Study

C Bronte | Jane Eyre | A Critical Study

C Bronte | Jane Eyre | A Critical Study

Charlotte Bronte was a great woman novelist of early nineteenth-century England. She wrote only four novels in her brief life span of thirty-nine only. The titles of those four novels are—’The Professors’, ‘Jane Eyre’, ‘Shirley’ and ‘Villette’. Among these four novels, ‘Jane Eyre’ is a great one through which she has portrayed the condition and status of women in a male-dominated society. The main theme of the novel is the suffering of the orphans at the hands of society and their struggle for rights.

Jane Eyre is a novel of both plot and character—because both (plot and character)are strongly kept up in a well-arranged style written in simple and plain language. The novel is autobiographical in style. Jane Eyre, the heroine of the novel tells her life story in the first person. 

Jane Eyre was an orphan as she lost her parents while she was a child. Her own material uncle adopted her. Her uncle’s name was Mr. Reed. He died after adopting Jane Eyre to his family. After his death, Mrs. Reed the wife of Mr. Reed thought of Jane as the maid-servant of the household, not a member of the family. But Jane Eyre thought herself to be equal to the other members of the family. The Reeds repudiated her demand and gave deaf ears to her wishes. They often rebuked her and oppressed her. One day her cousin stoke her with a heavy book and wounded her and showed his superiority to her. At last, she was sent to Lawood School where she took education for eight years through hardship. After finishing her education at Lawood, she went to Thornfield and became a governess to a house. Mr. Rochester was the master. Her master Rochester engaged her as the governess to his only child Adela Varens. She remained there for some years with happiness. At last, Mr. Rochester became enamoured of her and desired to marry her. Jane gave her consent, but the marriage could not happen as, on the day of their marriage, she came to know that Mr. Rochester had already married two women and one was living in his house. She was called Grace Poole. She then in disgust, left Thornfield and with a bare hand arrived at a place called ‘Whit cross’. There a gentleman named St. John gave her shelter and appointed her a mistress at a school in Morton. The owner of the school was St. John. There she began to live independently with happiness. One day she came to learn that St. John was her cousin by the side of her mother. Later on, St. John decided to serve mankind through a Christian Missionary and was about to go to India. In that nick of time, he expressed his desire to marry John Eyre and wanted her to go to India with him. She seemed to agree with his proposal but at last, she declined and leaving this place, she went back to Thornfield. Going there, she was choked by the news that the building owned by Mr. Rochester was burnt and Mr. Rochester had lost sight of his eyes and had one arm broken forever while she went to save his mad wife Grace Poole from fire. However, she met the family in Ferdean, some miles away from Thornfield and decided to stay there waiting upon helpless Mr Rochester. Finally, after Rochester’s wish, she married Rochester and began to live happily.

This is the main story of the novel. The story of the novel is interesting no doubt, but more interesting are the characters of the novel as they exhibit and represent the society of that time. There are some main characters which comprise of Jane Eyre, Mr Reed, Grace Poole, Mr. Rochester and St. John. Amongst them, Jane Eyre is the heroine. The characters are type as well as individual. Mrs. Reed is wholly type and she represents every woman in society. She has all the jealousy and cruelty of a woman. Mr. Rochester is a type as well as an individual. Thus is St. John. Jane Eyre is exceptional. She is a type of orphan for suffering but an individual for ideals. She very boldly exclaimed equal status with other members of the family as well as with the males in society. Moreover, she is sympathetic to the helpless as she showed sympathy with her aunt Mrs. Reed as well as to the helpless Mr. Rochester.

The plot construction of the novel is well and logical. The story proceeds from beginning to end in a logical sequence. The story begins and meets its end through five stages—the introduction, complication, climax, denouement, and conclusion.

Pathos is the only taste of the novel. It is bare of humour and wit. In it, there is a touch of supernaturalism as—Jane Eyre experiences the presence of a ghost in the red room in Gateshead Hall and her hearing of the voice of Mr. Rochester at midnight.

The language of the novel is simple and easy to comprehend. There is no use of ironic, figurative, or poetic use of language which is generally met in other prose writings of that time.

To conclude, it is to say that Charlotte Bronte’s novel Jane Eyre is a better novel in theme and style. And more it is the first novel in the English Language in which a woman (John Eyre) seems to struggle for woman’s rights in society. 0 0 0


Read More: Use of Wit and Irony in Pride and Prejudice

N. B. This article entitled ‘Charlotte Bronte Jane Eyre-A Critical Study’ originally belongs to the book ‘World Novel Criticism‘ by Menonim Menonimus.

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