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Jane Eyre as a Gothic Novel

             According to definition a gothic novel is a type of fiction in which their plots included mysterious and supernatural events intended to frighten the reader. Gothic novels became popular in England during the late 1700's and early 1800's and contain ghosts and even mad wives locked away have been noted to be part of them quite often. The stories took upon the name of gothic due to the fact that most of them took place in gothic settings. A gothic setting is one with gothic style architecture such as gloomy, medieval castles. These buildings could have consisted of dungeons, secret passageways, even a "red-room" in some cases. These specific locations provided ideal settings for supernatural and mysterious events. Jane Eyre has been considered to fall into the category of a gothic novel; it understandable how people can interpret it this way. The gothic elements of Jane Eyre enhance the already mysterious story line adding more twists and turns in the plot. It also adds a much more dramatic feel to the story. Jane Eyre definitely does not lack in the mysterious aura that characterizes gothic literature. Whether it's the occult Grace Poole, or the eerie laughter heard throughout the house which gives the reader a feeling of supernatural events taking place, there is a haze of mystery throughout Jane Eyre. One of the main characters, Mr. Rochester, is presented with a secret past, a secret identity almost which entrances the reader and leaves them reading on to understand what it is all about. The way Mr. Rochester and Jane commute almost telepathically is a prime example of Jane Eyre having many of the elements of a gothic novel. In Jane Eyre there is also the lunatic, hidden wife of Mr. Rochester, Bertha - another notable element of Gothic literature. Primarily, however it is the red-room that is undeniably a key element in gothic literature. A specific setting, like a secret room and such, are in almost every gothic piece of literature.

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