Jane Eyre Essay

1045 words - 4 pages

Bertha Mason's Extraordinary Contrast Author Richard Feinman describes life as "encompassed by the effects of others" (http://www.greenleafenterprises.com). Feinman's definiton of the effects of environment on life shows the significance of the roles of aquaintances in one's life. The effects of one's environment is one of many variables in the sculpture of one's personality. Bronte's Jane Eyre incorporates the role of minor characters producing major effects for the main character in the story, Jane. Bertha Mason's minor role of the complete contrast to Jane's personality entirely redirects Jane's life in the opposite direction of her status of happiness in life. In Bronte's Jane Eyre, the minor character of Bertha Mason completely redefines Jane's life-- creating a development in Jane's personality that leads her to true happiness. The introduction of the mysterious character of Bertha is a revelating incident of fate in Jane's life. This character, mistakenly thought by Jane to be someone else (Grace Poole), is actually Bertha Antoinetta Mason Rochester--Rochester's wife. Bertha's horrifying self is evident when Jane first sees her, thinking the experience was a nightmare: "Fearful and ghastly to me "“ oh, sir, I never saw a face "“ it was a savage face" (281). The astonishing discovery of Bertha is heart-breaking to Jane, but at the same time increasingly positive to Jane's future. Rochester says, "Bertha Mason is mad; and she comes of a mad family; - idiots and maniacs through three generations! Her mother, the Creole, was both a mad woman and a drunkard! "“ as I found out after I had wed the daughter: for they were silent on family secrets before" (289).Bertha represents the complete contrast to Jane in the novel: she is the insane, crazy, mysterious character in the attic. Bertha encompasses the raw sexuality suppressed by Jane and Rochester, which Brontë enhances as a vice in the novel. Bertha's madness and sensuality bring Jane and Mr. Rochester together, which Brontë portrays through the similarities and differences between Jane and Bertha. The speaker says, "One never knows what she has, sir: she is so cunning: it is not in mortal discretion to fathom her craft"¦the lunatic [Bertha] sprang and grappled his throat viciously, and laid her teeth to his cheek: they struggled" (290). Bertha's sexual attack on Rochester completely differs from the relationship he shares with Jane. Through the oddity of Bertha's sexual assaults, Rochester's propensity...

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