John, mr brocklehurst rochester, and st john 'give jane models to learn from and enemies to fight against, and in the end,allows her to surpass the ideal 'male hero' and create new feminine heroes for the Victorian age
Victorian web - Bertha
Women like Betha must be destroyed- the fires they light are too volatile, too threatening to masculine control and security
Janes experience at Thornfield consisted of an 'outer calm and inner restlessness', she is conflicted between primitive passionate emotions and societal expectations.
Betha is the 'anger and rage' in Jane Eyre
Victorian women are trapped in 'metaphorical attics'
Helen is the 'diametric opposite' of Jane
Gradesaver - Helen
Helens form of Christianity is not useful for Jane, neither is Janes attitude of self defence, she must find and develop her own brand of spirituality.
Described the "Angel in the House" (based on his wife)
Jane becomes friends with Mrs Temple whose teaching, personality and intellect help form Janes own character,
Gilbert and Gubar - The Red Room
The red room is a "patriarchal death chamber"
Helen shows Jane that she can release her negative emotions and make them less destructive through forgiveness, and that by loving her enemies her hatred and anger may fade. We see this when she visits her aunt.
Created the first feminist text, 'The Vindications and Rights of Women'
In the first chapter the distinction between Janes position and John Reeds position in the house is geographically drawn. John is wealthy , arrogant, cruel. Jane is poor and dependent yet stirred by to rebellion by injustice.
"Class difference with Jane provides an extra dose of sexual arousal as it reproduces more strongly the domination/ subordination relation"
"The plot of Jane Eyre works towards a redistribution of power and wealth but [...] its revolution improves only the lot of the middle class, closing out the working class."
"one of the central problems of the novel [is] the apparently blithe predication of the liberty and happiness of a few upon the confinement and suffering of the many."
Inheritance makes Jane more 'masculine' in that she gains financial independence/ only marries- see Rochester's injuries as a "symbolic castration", a punishment for his earlier promiscuity
the central structure of the narrative to be a religious one, "In Jane Eyre, the religious explanation determines motive and action
Gilbert and Gubar
Brocklehurst is the Victorian super-ego
Gilbert and Gubar
"orphan girls are starved or frozen into proper Christian submission"
"Bertha Mason [...] is the incarceration of the flesh, of female sexuality in its most irredeemably bestial and terrifying form."
rigid self-control is the only way women can survive in the Victorian sexual hierarchy'
Gilbert and Gubar
"Bertha is Jane's truest and darkest double: the angry aspect of the orphan child, the ferocious secret self Jane has been trying to repress ever since her days at Gateshead.
'as Bertha's passion eventually proves fatal, it becomes clear that Jane must gain control over her passion or be destroyed.'
Grace Poole "emblem of those ordinary women who . . . guard silently a mystery 'nobody knows': their true feelings"
'The most frequent recurrence of the racial metaphor in this novel is the sometimes covert, sometimes overt comparison of Jane to an African slave"
It is easy to condemn Brocklehurst's religious doctrine, but Brontë also undermines Helen's absolute and self-abnegating religious beliefs.
Brontë's was concerned about the misinterpretation of religious ideals and the loss of true spirituality as a result of extremism
Throughout the novel, Brontë uses animal imagery to describe the untamable and the uncivilized.