Jane Eyre and Wide Sargasso Sea- Romantic Love

In: English and Literature

Submitted By sophiemorgan
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Consider the presentation of romantic love in “Jane Eyre” making wider reference to “Wide Sargasso Sea”

“Jane Eyre” by Charlotte Bronte, published in 1847, has one key theme which is love. However it also contains Gothic conventions throughout which prevents the novel from being merely an archetypal romance. The novel is about a young woman who is isolated from people. However, when she gets a job working for Mr Rochester she falls in love with him. Later it is revealed that he's married to a woman, who is portrayed as being mad. In contrast, the romantic love in "Wide Sargasso Sea" written in 1966 is presented in a different way. Although Antoinette initially has a hopeful attitude to romantic love in Wide Sargasso Sea, the attitude of the man, especially in section two reveals that he only marries her for her money. Ellen Michetetii says “the heart and soul of ‘Jane Eyre’ is the passionate love between Jane and her employer.” "Romance" is defined in the Chambers dictionary as "expressive and pleasurable feeling from an emotional attraction towards another person associated with love". Leslie Gelbman says a romance must make the “romantic relationship between the hero and heroine… the core of the book”. This is what “Jane Eyre” does. Similarly “Wide Sargasso Sea” focuses on a single relationship the one between “the man” and Antoinette; however, although the relationship in “Jane Eyre” is reciprocal, in “Wide Sargasso Sea” Antoinette’s love is not returned. Rhys based Antoinette on the character of Bertha Mason from “Jane Eyre” in an attempt to make the character more believable by writing a prequel to the novel.

Perhaps the first example of Romance within "Jane Eyre" is when Jane first meets Rochester. She is walking through a lane to Hay. A romantic mood is created by the personification of the moon “On a hilltop above me sat the rising moon… she looked…...

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