Analysis Of Bertha In Jane Eyre

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Bertha indeed symbolizes an essential element of Jane’s self-identity. This is reinforced by the mirror-image Jane sees as Bertha tears her veil, which resembles that of Jane in the red-room. The grotesque faces are surprisingly alike in how Jane feels on seeing them. In the red-room, when the solitary Jane looks into the mirror, she perceives a strange figure gazing at her with frightened eyes, this is a critical moment of her individual development. The figure has “a white face” and is like a supernatural “spirit” (p. 11). Although Bertha’s “discoloured face” in Jane’s mirror is even more ghostly than that of the child Jane (p. 300), both appear to be a countenance that Jane has never seen. Bertha is, according to Rigney (1978), a distorted reflection of Jane’s propensity for passion, causing Jane to have lost her consciousness ever since her childhood trauma. Therefore, the staring reflection of Bertha in the glass which mirrors Jane’s and Jane’s reaction to Bertha’s appearance hint Bertha’s role in constructing Jane’s selfhood. In addition, Bertha who is imprisoned in an isolated room for her madness reminds the reader of the little Jane who is confined in the red-room as a punishment. Just as Bertha is considered as a threat and disruption to the household, Jane is seen as a marginalized “less than a servant” (p. 8). Both of them are wronged, and both exhibit anger for the unjust treatment they have received. “Unjust!-unjust!” say the tense Jane and the silenced Bertha
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