How Bronte Uses Setting To Reflect The Experiences Of Her Characters

2544 words - 10 pages

Explore how Bronte uses setting to reflect the experiences of her
characters.

Bronte describes every setting in "Jane Eyre" in a vast amount of
detail, using a number of different language techniques, so as to
portray the experiences of her characters, almost subconsciously, to
the reader. As well as this, she conveys the moods of her characters
using methods such as pathetic fallacy and symbolism, in order to
express their emotions indirectly. Furthermore, Bronte uses all of
these methods, in addition to a number of scenes containing
juxtaposition, as well as the overall structure of her writing style,
consistently throughout the book, following Jane through her life.
And, transmitting her personal changes and experiences at each stage
in her life to the reader.

Bronte employs close descriptive detail in her portrayal of Gateshead
which reflects Jane's emotional turmoil. As well as this, she uses
symbolism when setting the scene in the red room, in order to portray
Jane's feelings and mood to the reader. For example, she describes all
of the red objects within the room: " hung with curtains of deep red
damask", " the carpet was red" and " the table at the foot of the bed
was covered with a crimson cloth". These vivid, deep shades of red all
are known to symbolise danger and blood, which usually tend to create
a sense of fear, and consequently, this is one of the emotions Jane is
inclined to feel. As well as this, she describes the furniture in such
a way that it seems incomprehensibly gigantic and intimidating to Jane
as, " it was one of the largest and stateliest chambers", " massive
pillars of mahogany", " shrouded in festoons" and "deep surrounding
shades rose high". Thus, the reader is given a sense of how small and
frightened Jane feels in comparison to the elaborate grandeur of the
room. However, Jane's fiery self-belief is evident as she fancies
herself as a spirit from the supernatural in the mirror:

"the strange little figure there gazing at me with a white face and
arms specking the gloom, and glittering eyes of fear moving where all else
was still, had the effect of a real spirit, I thought it like one of
the tiny phantoms, half fairy, half imp"

This shows that her personal impression of herself, is one of a lonely
and solitary girl, as creatures from the supernatural are often
believed to be solemn, strange characters, who obviously do not fit in
or connect normally with the real world. Furthermore, in order to
portray Jane's position mentally, Bronte emphasises the fact that Jane
is trapped in the room with no escape route. Also, the room to Jane is
especially horrible as it is the room where her uncle Mr Reed, "
breathed his last". Therefore, this reflects Jane's own feelings that
she is trapped inside a traumatic world that she does not want to
exist in. It is also this world that Jane feels is suffocating her
personality and rejecting her.

It is also in Bronte's setting of...

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