What are some Gothic elements in Charlotte Bronte's Jane Eyre?

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

There's a lot going on in Jane Eyre which parallels the tropes of Gothic novels. One of the key features in Jane Eyre which strikes the reader as Gothic is its use of buildings and landscapes almost as characters in their own right—the windswept, Yorkshire landscapes are representative of the Gothic hinterland, the unknown, and the various houses Jane moves between are anchors of their own within this landscape. Outside on her own, Jane isn't safe; but the novel gives the distinct sense that she may not be safe, either, within these grand and drafty houses which are, in their own way, prisons.

The female protagonist , Jane, is far from being a delicate flower, but as a woman in distress, a virgin, she is similar to many Gothic heroines. Gothic literature often deals with preserving the virtue of young women from the abuses wreaked upon them by men, and in this story we see this expressed not only in the way Jane is treated by men in her early life, but also in the figure of the rather...

(The entire section contains 2 answers and 591 words.)

Unlock This Answer Now

Start your 48-hour free trial to unlock this answer and thousands more. Enjoy eNotes ad-free and cancel anytime.

Start your 48-Hour Free Trial
Approved by eNotes Editorial Team