Structural Analysis of Charlotte Bronte's Jane Eyre.
Almost 100 years after the publishing of Charlotte Bronte's "Jane Eyre" Ferdinand de Saussure's idea of structural linguistics was "translated and popularized into English." (Tyson, 212) Saussure's idea revolved around the theory that "structuralism doesn't look for the causes or origins of language or any other phenomenon. It looks for the rules that underlie language and govern how it functions: it looks for the structure." (Tyson, 213) In other words, it is the readers' job to break down language and uncover the rules or structures that lie beneath it and in order to do that structuralists use binary oppositions. Binary oppositions are two ideas that are cannot occur together; something can't be both up and down or good and bad. Although the binary oppositions can't coexist one cannot be understood without the other. Using binary oppositions, this essay will show that without these previously established concepts in all humans' minds, Jane Eyre's struggles wouldn't have existed. The three pairs of binary oppositions that will be used to show this are master/slave, rich/poor and good/evil. These sets of antonyms create structural obstacles that Jane has to overcome throughout the entire narrative. .
Within the first ten pages of the novel, the master and slave binary opposition becomes apparent. Jane is never actually a slave but she describes being "habitually obedient to John" and is also reminded to "Say, 'What do you want, Master Reed?'" (Bronte, 7-8) When Jane finally stands up to her first master after John hurls a book at her, Jane even refers to him as "like a slave-driver" ordering her around and beating her when she disobeys. Even though John was only a few years older than Jane because he was the male at Gateshead, not only Jane but also his mother, Mrs.