Jane Eyre Questions and Answers
by Charlotte Brontë

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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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Lynnette Wofford eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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This is a good question. First, you should note that the major expression of Romanticism in the English novel was called the "Gothic" novel, and thus when we talk about Romantic qualities in the English novel, we often look at Gothic elements, such as medievalism, sentimental affinity to nature, intense portrayal of emotion, exotic landscapes, etc. Walter Scott is probably the most important Romantic English novelist.

There are several ways to approach this. First, literary history is not linear. In the case of some technology, progress is linear. Few of us would want to use a 25-year-old computer if we could avoid it. On the other hand, we can still enjoy reading books that are hundreds or even thousands of years old. Just as in popular culture there are many forms of "retro" movements such as Steampunk and the Society for Creative Anachronism, so too writers can draw inspiration from older sources and imitate older styles they feel drawn to.

The Gothic itself, after all, was named after...

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