jane eyre Essay

430 WordsApr 18, 20092 Pages
Fire in Jane Eyre In Charlotte Bronte’s novel Jane Eyre, fire is a recurring symbol. Throughout the story fire is essential to understand the motivations of the key characters. Representing passion and emotion, fire has both a comforting and a destructive effect. It symbolizes both destruction and rebirth. Fire is used throughout the novel to represent passion as an uncontrollable force. For example, when it first becomes truly obvious that Rochester has feelings for Jane, she has just saved him from the fire in his bed. When Rochester tries to keep Jane with him after this incident, she says, "strange energy was in his voice, strange fire in his look" (Chapter 15). Another example is when Rochester says that he and Jane remain together even though they cannot be married. Jane writes, “A hand of fiery iron grasped my vitals. Terrible moment: full of struggle, blackness, burning! Not a human being that ever lived could wish to be loved better than I was loved” (Chapter 27). Jane is tempted to surrender to her and Rochester's passions, but she does not. Fire imagery infuses the three characters that tell Rochester's tale about the early days of his marriage, in the bedroom fire which Jane saved Rochester from, in the language that both Rochester and Jane use in describing their emotions towards each other, and in the final fire that destroyed the house which blinded Rochester and killed Bertha. The image of fire symbolizes first sinfulness, then rebirth. Since the passionate love that Rochester and Jane first held was sinful, it was accompanied by images of fire and burning. After Jane leaves Thornfield, and her "burning" desires for Rochester are serious, the next and final image of fire occurs. In the fire that destroyed Thornfield, Rochester proved his worthiness to Jane by attempting to save Bertha from the fire. A feat that indicated that he had

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