Jane Eyre:Symbolisom With Fire and Water

Essay by gcrashHigh School, 10th gradeA+, August 2004

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Jane Eyre is classic novel from the 19th century that had several never-before-seen views on women and their role in society. The author, Charlotte Brontë, tells the gothic romance starring Jane Eyre, a strong -willed and intelligent woman who goes through a difficult life, but finds happiness with her only love, Mr. Rochester. The author uses symbolism to portray an important theme in the story. Fire and water imagery is shown throughout the book to symbolize passion and duty, which are opposing forces that complicate Jane's life; she must choose one of these forces to undertake her future.

Fire is known to symbolize passion, vigor, and destruction. Fire is present in Jane's life since childhood. Jane has always had a passionate nature, which became evident in a dispute with Mrs. Reed, "I am glad you are no relation of mine. I will never call you aunt again as I live ...

people think you a good woman, but you are bad, hard-hearted. You are deceitful!"(30).

Jane, however, does not let herself get consumed by the fire because her reasoning cools her down. Mr. Rochester, on the other hand, almost completely embodies the passion and aggressiveness associated with fire. Jane constantly takes notice of his "flaming and flashing eyes" and is attracted to their heat. Mr. Rochester describes himself as a fiery person hence, "Your eyes dwell on a Vulcan- a real blacksmith, brown, broad-shouldered..." (423). Vulcan is the Roman god of fire, thus Mr. Rochester knows that sometimes he lets his passion get out of control. Fire not only signifies passion, but it also represents destruction. Jane describes one of the first destructive incidents, "Tongues of flames darted round the bed: the curtains were on fire. In the midst of blaze and vapor, Mr. Rochester lay stretched motionless, in deep...