Jane Eyre Short Sample Answers
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In what ways is Jane Eyre influenced by the tradition of the Gothic novel? What do the Gothic elements contribute to the novel?
The Gothic tradition utilizes elements such as supernatural encounters, remote locations, complicated family histories, ancient manor houses, dark secrets, and mysteries to create an atmosphere of suspense and terror, and the plot of Jane Eyre includes most of these elements. Lowood, Moor House, and Thornfield are all remote locations, and Thornfield, like Gateshead, is also an ancient manor house. Both Rochester and Jane possess complicated family histories—Rochester’s hidden wife, Bertha, is the dark secret at the novel’s core. The exposure of Bertha is one of the most important moments in the novel, and the mystery surrounding her is the main source of the novel’s suspense.
Other Gothic occurrences include: Jane’s encounter with the ghost of her late Uncle Reed in the red-room; the moment of supernatural communication between Jane and Rochester when she hears his voice calling her across the misty heath from miles and miles away; and Jane’s mistaking Rochester’s dog, Pilot, for a “Gytrash,” a spirit of North England that manifests itself as a horse ...