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What are the features of Romanticism that can be traced in Charlotte Bronte's Jane...

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flothenerd | Student, Undergraduate | eNoter

Posted April 18, 2011 at 11:20 PM via web

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What are the features of Romanticism that can be traced in Charlotte Bronte's Jane Eyre?

I read that the novel contains features of romanticism and I wonder what these are and why Bronte uses them although the novel was written in 1847.

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Michelle Ossa | College Teacher | (Level 3) Educator Emeritus

Posted April 19, 2011 at 6:01 AM (Answer #1)

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Romanticism is a literary movement which values the natural aspect of emotions and opts for an unadulterated version of reality. In other words, is literature that deals with situations that stir the reader's emotions greatly for the realism of the details, and the fact that it presents people for what they are: The good is good, the bad is bad, and the horrible is horrible- no chance to "sugar coat" situations, nor present a more amiable alternative to challenges.

In Jane Eyre we see a woman who has gone through some really harsh situations. All throughout her life she had held strongly against adversity. Even her love situation was a challenge that she would have to carry heavily in her heart, and suffer from it.

In addition to this, the story has a Gothic touch, by adding mystery, intrigue, and the addition of fate, consequences, and other situations that are beyond the control of the characters. Gothic literature is like the "evil twin" of romantic literature. Jane Eyre displays an awesome combination of both genres.

Therefore, the realism of the situations, the strong and vivid nature of the emotions described, the touches of Gothic elements, and the story in itself- a rough-ride into the real world-are just a number of the qualities that make Jane Eyre a great Romantic novel.

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