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Jane Eyre as a Fairy Tale
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DescriptionJane Eyre as a Fairy Tale
Jane Eyre as a Fairy Tale
The fairy tale master plots of rags to riches and good versus evil are recurring themes throughout stories from many different cultures. Charlotte Bronte’s Jane Eyre, can be likened to a fairy tale, as certain elements of the master plot of the story, as it contains certain aspects of traditional fairy tale stories, such as Briar Rose and Cinderella. Jane Eyre was one of the first books with a female author that was widely read by the literate public. Since its first publication it has become part of the literary canon and continues to be the basis of discussion and debate among scholars even today, over a century after it was written. Jane Eyre is similar to many fairy tales due to the fact that there are elements of traditional fairy tale master plots, such as rags to riches, good versus evil and a lost love found again; and, ultimately, the implication of this is that the reader has a good idea that the novel will end with the traditional fairy tale ending of the characters living “happily ever after”.
Many fairy tales, such as Cinderella involve a main character who is suffering and in order to escape their suffering they use their imagination as an escape. In Cinderella the singing birds and talking mice are all examples of how she uses her imagination to escape the world that imprisons her (Cinderella). Jane’s experience in the red room reminds the reader that imagination is very important to Jane, as it is a way for her to escape the realities of her everyday life. The narrative that Jane creates also has a mythological element to it as she mixes the realistic aspects of her life with fantasy. We see the first instance of this as Jane sits nervously in the red-room and imagines a gleam of light shining on the wall; for her, this indicates a vision from another world (Bronte 25). Throughout the book, the appearance of supernatural incidents such as the one in the red room, usually occur before there is a big change in Jane’s life. As Jane’s departure from Gateshead was marked by her pseudo-supernatural experience in the red-room, her movement away from Lowood also has a fairy tale component. As Jane is contemplating what would be the best way for her to gain new employment, she is visited by a “kind fairy” who gives her specific advice to place an advertisement in a local paper (Bronte 101). Jane takes the fairy’s advice and places the ad in the paper with responses addressed to J.E.; through the newspaper Jane is offered the job at Thornfield and soon after accepts the position. These different ...
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