Fire In Jane Eyre Essay

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Fire and ice play major roles in Jane Eyre. Over the course of the text, these two elements develop and show the contrasts between characters and situations. Fire is used in different forms throughout the novel: physically, figuratively and emotionally. Whether appearing as flames in a fireplace, or used to represent a character’s personality, fire is passionate. Though fire can be calmed it can never be conformed. Ice is the opposition of fire, and it appears frequently throughout the novel. The ice in the text symbolizes reason, stoicism, and even loneliness. Ice appears in the nature surrounding Jane’s travels and mirrors distinct qualities of characters she encounters. Fire and ice are used to show Jane’s passion in a world of conformity…show more content…
When the novel begins, Jane is a young girl who lives as an orphan in her Aunt Reed’s home. The first presence of ice occurs when Jane selects a text to read behind the curtains of a window-seat. As she sits down, she notes the cold conditions outside. Jane states, “to the left were the clear panes of glass, protecting, but not separating me from the drear November day” (2). The window panes do not only separate Jane’s fiery, passionate, personality from the cold but instead protect her against the cool, impassive nature of the ice. The text Jane begins to read is called, History of British Birds. As she flips through the pages, she describes the areas in which the birds reside in. These areas are described as solitary, melancholy, bleak and dreary. Jane specifically quotes a section from the book that depicts the cold, harsh conditions, “those forlorn regions of dreary space- that reservoir of frost and snow, where firm fields of ice, the accumulation of centuries of winters, glazed in Alpine heights above heights” (3). The adjectives used in Jane’s description and the quote she selected from the text ensure that the presence of ice in the novel will not be positive. Instead the descriptions portray a large, desolate area in which everything is frosted over with ice. Ice is used as the symbol of conformity, and engulfs everything around it. Jane is interested in the ice and cold due to the fact that she is the opposite of

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