Jane Eyre - Contrasts

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Jane Eyre Essay Bronte uses Jane's analytical and honest observations of the upper class to convey their shallow views of each other and their disdain to those beneath them on the social 'ladder'. Jane's status as a governess allows her to watch the upper class, and her judgements of each of Mr Rochester's houseguests are accurate and unexaggerated, and this is the view that Bronte gives the reader. Through Jane's comparisons between Mr Rochester and his guests, Mr Rochester's character is defined by his authenticity, illustrated by the contrasts of language and the difference in behaviour with that of his houseguests. Jane describes Mr Rochester as "not beautiful... but beautiful to me", and she explains that his "genuine power" outweighs all 'grace', 'elegance' and 'military distinction', each of which his guests possess. Mr Rochester's authenticity contrasts sharply with the continuous theme of role playing in the novel. Jane criticises Blanche as she is "not original", repeating phrases from books and not of her own opinion, being "very showy, but... not genuine" and describing her laugh as "mocking" and "satirical". The metaphor of role playing in the novel is conveyed through the ladies’ superficial nature and all the guests' lack of authenticity. An example of role playing in the novel is when Mr Rochester dresses up and pretends to be a gypsy. Mr Rochester uses the gypsy disguise to expose Blanche as a spoilt, shallow brat, and using the disguise he tries to uncover Jane's true feelings. Suspicious of the gypsy, Jane eventually reveals Mr Rochester and "the play is played out". This incident reminds us that though he is one of the upper class, he is more intellectually orientated and genuine than the others. The theme of acting is accentuated by the playing of charades as entertainment for the houseguests. The party go to great lengths to perfect the
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