Jane Eyre - Analysis of Nature

Jane Eyre - Analysis of Nature

Charlotte Bronte makes use of nature imagery throughout "Jane Eyre," and comments on both the human relationship with the outdoors and human nature. The Oxford Reference Dictionary defines "nature" as "1. the phenomena of the physical world as a whole . . . 2. a thing's essential qualities; a person's or animal's innate character . . . 4. vital force, functions, or needs." We will see how "Jane Eyre" comments on all of these.

Several natural themes run through the novel, one of which is the image of a stormy sea. After Jane saves Rochester's life, she gives us the following metaphor of their relationship: "Till morning dawned I was tossed on a buoyant ...

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. not buoyant." In fact, it is this buoyancy of Jane's relationship with Rochester that keeps Jane afloat at her time of crisis in the heath: "Why do I struggle to retain a valueless life? Because I know, or believe, Mr. Rochester is living."

Another recurrent image is Brontė's treatment of Birds. We first witness Jane's fascination when she reads Bewick's History of British Birds as a child. She reads of "death-white realms" and "'the solitary rocks and promontories'" of sea-fowl. We quickly see how Jane identifies with the bird. For her it is a form of escape, the idea of flying above the toils of every day life. Several times the narrator talks of feeding birds crumbs. Perhaps Brontė is telling us that this idea of escape is no more than a fantasy-one cannot escape when one must return for basic sustenance. The link between Jane and birds is strengthened by the way Brontė adumbrates poor nutrition at Lowood through a bird who is described as "a little hungry robin." Brontė ...

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holds me to human society at this moment." After only taking a small parcel with her from Thornfield, she leaves even that in the coach she rents. Gone are all references to Rochester, or even her past life. A "sensible" heroine might have gone to find her uncle, but Jane needed to leave her old life behind. Jane is seeking a return to the womb of mother nature: "I have no relative but the universal mother, Nature: I will seek her breast and ask repose." We see how she seeks protection as she searches for a resting place: "I struck straight into the heath; I held on to a hollow I saw deeply furrowing the brown moorside; I waded knee-deep in its dark growth; I turned with its turnings, ...

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Added: 4/13/2011 09:40:02 AM
Submitted By: nelin
Category: Book Reports
Type: Premium Paper
Words: 1906
Pages: 7

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