Jane Eyre As A Realist Novel

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Jane Eyre In order to understand as to whether Jane Eyre can be viewed as a realist novel with gothic elements, one must first understand what a realist novel is. A realist novel is a novel that “places a strong emphasis on the truthful representation of the actual in fiction “. A gothic novel is an “English genre of fiction popular in the 18th to early 19th centuries, characterized by an atmosphere of mystery and horror and having a pseudo-medieval setting” (Oxford Dictionary). Both examples leave scope for believing that Bronte’s Jane Eyre can in fact fit into both genres however, does the novel allow this realism? Or does it use gothic elements as a reminder of the people and events that 19th century empire-builders with to deny, disregard or forget? This is what will be discussed within this essay. One cannot say that Jane Eyre is not a realist novel, the elements of a realist novel seen from the very first chapter with the depiction on Jane’s childhood. Jane is an orphan who is sent to live with her aunt to gain education. Jane then realises that the only way she can survive is if she becomes a governess and with this she has different relationships with people in the house. It is here we are introduced to Mr. Rochester who is in love with Jane; however, Jane says she cannot love him because of their differences in “Class”, this is portrayed vividly in chapter 17 when Jane is told that Mr. Rochester is “not of your order: keep to your caste, and be too self-respecting
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