A Critical Essay Of Jane Eyre And

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A Critical Essay Of Jane Eyre And Frankenstein Essay, Research Paper The following is a critical essay of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein and Charlotte Bronte’s Jane Eyre using Romanticism as a basis. First I must have a definition of Romanticism. I figured that the best place to look would be A Dictionary of Literary Terms published by J. A. Cuddon. According to this book,” the word romanticism has come to mean so many things that by itself, it means nothing at all It is a word at once indispensable and useless. The variety of its actual and possible meanings and connotations reflect the complexity and multiplicity of European romanticism.”(p.586) In English, the definition was way too long for them to write down because romanticism involves so many aspects. The

definition grew to colossal amounts where, during that time period, virtually every literary article could be considered romanticism. In frustration, I read on. “At the same time, in fairness, it should be said that the baffling and, very often, irritating part about anything to do with the romantic and romanticism is that it is very vague and formless.”(p.587) I find that my frustrations are justified. With the risk of writing an endless paper carefully combing Jane Eyre and Frankenstein to find every aspect of romanticism, I decided that I would pick those aspects of romanticism that I found most prevalent and interesting in the texts. After reading these stories, I realized that there were many ideas relating to Romanticism in the texts, some of them being variations of

its definition; yet, they relate nonetheless. Nature is a common theme in Romanticism. There is often an increasing interest or fascination with nature. This is shown in Jane Eyre, when Jane is fascinated with the moon. Nature can also be used to reflect the moods of the characters. It is used most frequently in the following two ways: as a powerful entity to convey some idea to one of the main characters, and as the counter force opposing the corrupting force of society. For example, the moon may convey ideas of comfort, a soothing force against the anger established by society. Lightening, on the other hand, may serve as a warning, keeping the character on his proper path to enlightenment. In these two texts, nature shows its power many times to the main characters of Jane

Eyre, Rochester, Victor Frankenstein, and the Monster. These characters both use nature as their one reference point, the one thing that will not change and will not turn against them. However, society can often be much stronger as we see in Frankenstein, where the monster lets is feelings of rejection overwhelm him. In these texts, Nature is constantly refereed to by feminine terms. This further supports the romanticism theory; in that, men are portrayed as the rough side of society, while women are portrayed as polished and refined side. The masculine society corrupts, while the feminine nature perfects. In Frankenstein, Victor’s main reason for creating the Monster was the death of Caroline Beaufort, his mother. Before his mother’s death, Shelley refers to nature as female

for the first time when Victor comments on Isaac Newton’s studies by saying that he “partially unveiled the face of nature, but her immortal lineaments were still a wonder and a mystery”(n.p.), referring to nature as “her”. This not only shows the power of nature not being able to be understood in its vastness, but it is also showing the feminine side of Nature. After this statement, Shelley reveals nature’s power again to Victor during a thunderstorm when he sees “a stream of fire issue from an old and beautiful oak”(n.p.) and then goes on to say “so soon as the dazzling light vanished, the oak had disappeared, and nothing but a blasted stump remains”(n.p.). Soon after this, his mother dies, Victor is left without a mother figure. The idea that Nature is