How does Bronte use the fire and ice motif to present and explore the emotions of key characters?
“Jane Eyre” is an English novel and was published in 1847. The novel was titled ‘Jane Eyre’; it is an autobiography under the name of “Currer Bell”. Many people consider the novel to be ahead of its time because of the feminist views that Bronte presents and the way Jane’s character is presented as a very passionate young girl who does not conform to the expectations of society in that era. The novel includes many motifs from the gothic genre and cleverly combines this with the romantic themes and plot to produce a novel very different to others when it was first published.
One motif that Bronte uses is the use of fire and ice, especially in imagery. The use of this motif also helps the reader to understand more about the way that Jane is feeling. Bronte’s use of the fire and ice shows Jane’s struggle to find her place in society as a strong independent woman. The fire is Jane’s passion and independence while the ice is representing the forces that try to crush her spirit, and make her conform to the expectations of society. We know this as in the first chapter we learn that “Folds of scarlet drapery shut in my view to the right hand; to the left were the clear panes of glass, protecting, but not separating me from the drear November day”. This is the first fire and ice imagery used in the book and from this the reader can already see that Jane is on the fire side, but is not “separated” from the ice. Early in the novel Jane uses the ice imagery to describe the rain “sweeping away wildly” she also describes the fire as a “terrible red glare”. As you progress through the first volume of the novel, fire is seen to be comforting when Jane is in Miss Temple’s room, and it is water that is used to put out the fire on Rochester’s bed.
The motif is also used to present some characters in the novel. Jane Eyre is mainly fire; this is presented through her clear passion...