“The Monster Within: The Alien Self In Jane Eyre

635 words - 3 pages

Summary of Arlene Young?s ?The Monster Within: The Alien Self in Jane Eyre and Frankenstein? Young, Arlene. ?The Monster Within: The Alien Self in Jane Eyre and Frankenstein.? Studies in the Novel 23 (1991): 325-38.Many critics have found fault with Jane Eyre. Arlene Young agrees with their view, commenting on the implausibility of Jane?s wanderings. Young feels that Jane accepts her diminishing existence with a personality devoid of spirit. As a result, her misery fails to elicit the sympathy it should. The Gothic elements of the novel provide a psychological realism to Jane?s story. Because these elements are absent in this scene, Young argues that Bronte creates, instead, a symbolic realism. By comparing Jane?s wanderings to that of the monster in Frankenstein, Young feels the symbolic undertones establish success within the episode, giving meaning to an otherwise puzzling way of transferring Jane from one imprisonment to another.Young finds many connections between Jane and the monster. Jane is referred to as ?mad? and a ?fiend? just as Victor Frankenstein describes his creature (327). Both characters also seem to disassociate their images from themselves. The monster is unable to identify with his reflection in a pool while Jane describes her image as a ?strange little figure there gazing at me? (Bronte 11). Also, both characters flee their makers. Like the monster, Jane flees the only place she feels at home. And while Jane is not directly fleeing her creator, she is fleeing her recreation into a person she can never be. Although both characters take similar action, their reasons for leaving are not identical. Jane must escape, yet the monster is forced away by rejection. Although the causes of their isolation differ, both characters develop a powerful sense of self-hatred and become separated from society.Both Jane and the monster find themselves alone in the wilderness, shunning mankind....

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