Examine Bronte’s Presentation of Gothic Horror in Jane Eyre and Its Importance in the Novel

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In the novel Jane Eyre, Bronte presents the theme of gothic horror throughout. The gothic plot can be identified in the mysterious castle of Thornfield; along with the moonlit natural environment. The Gothic plot is Romantic in the literary sense. Firstly the red room shows resemblance of blood and death. Jane imagines Mr Reed’s ghost haunting the room, from wrongdoing regarding his last wishes. Bronte presents this idea by the phrase “it was in this chamber he breathed his last”. The striking imagery provides interesting insight into the way Jane’s thought processes work as she was frequently sent to the red room. The word “chamber” generates connotations with a death chamber and being trapped for eternity, this could have a repercussion on Jane as the dark imagery coupled with the word “chamber” would make the character feel as if she was trapped and confined at a young age. This in turn would affect her psychologically as she grows older. This links with the idea that the phrases “breathed his last” emulates Jane’s emotion at the time as she feels that she will always be enclosed in the red room, equivalent to Mr Reed and possibly die there which theorizes a reason to why she feels so strongly against being put into the red room. Bronte presents this idea by referring to Jane’s happiness as when Mr Reed was living; Jane was treated with respect and received love given by her Uncle; however when he “breathes his last” it can be a reflection of Jane’s happiness ceasing to exist. Bronte also presents strong Gothic elements to Jane Eyre through the hysterical reaction Jane gives when she thinks she sees a ghost in the red room “swift darting beam was a herald…vision from another world”. Jane panics before the question of knowing whether or not there is a ghost; the anticipation of seeing the ghost is itself the trauma. It can be said that Jane’s nerves never
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