Examine the function of Thornfield in Jane Eyre. What is the function of this setting, and are there any critical evaluations of this?
Thornfield Hall is in some respects the kind of mysterious, dark, foreboding Gothic castle typically found in Romantic literature. It offers a paradox in seeming solid and permanent but proving to be fragile and temporary, for near the end it burns down. Further paradoxes that connect with this material aspect are its symbolic value both to Rochester and to Jane. It is Rochester’s home, where he lives with his daughter, Adele, but he has another home, Ferndean. To Jane, it seems a refuge and a home when she finds a place there after leaving Lowood; she learns, however, that it is a place of danger and threats rather than of safety, as she is attacked there.
These connect to the importance of the falseness that Thornfield represents. In this house, Rochester is living a lie and tries to entangle Jane in this web of deception when he proposes to her, although he is already married. Because Thornfield is a prison for Bertha , only its destruction can liberate its residents. Jane must flee the...
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