The novel, Jane Eyre, describes the transformation from childhood to adulthood of an orphaned girl named Jane. Bertha Mason, is portrayed as the alter ego of the orphaned girl, Jane Eyre. This statement could be interrupted in many ways. One being-for an example- Bertha being a symbol and representation of Jane’s feeling in regard to the situation of her marrying Rochester. Another is some likeliness of both women’s actions.
Jane Eyre may feel as if the matter of marriage is oppressing her. The dreams she received after the engagement suggests she secretly fears being submitted. Also, she may rage at the idea of losing her freedom and yielding to a higher power, which in this case is Rochester. Jane herself does not show all of these emotions, but they are animated through the actions of Bertha. Bertha tearing the bridal veil could stand for a metaphorical sign or warning for Jane as to not get married.
On another note, Bertha is also the obstacle that stops the wedding from persisting on; she is not only a metaphorical element, but is also a physical obstacle as well. The male dominating aspect relates both Bertha and Jane. Bertha was tied and locked away, showing the bondage and effect Victorian marriage had on mental and emotional health. It suggests that it suffocated women and took away their freedom. Jane was forced and expected to concede at both Gateshead Hall and Lowood Institution.
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She was harassed and also suggested by many that she not be so passionate. Knowing back then women for expected to fit the perfect imagine of civil, mannered, and self contained. Although, Jane was self righteous, opinionated, and passionate when younger. She learned to be well behaved and level headed at Lowood Institution the younger oppressed side of her reveals from her alter ego, Bertha. The likeliness of some events that occurred pertaining to both women does suggest that the madwoman in the attic is indeed the alter ego of Jane.
Firstly, Bertha having been locked in a room for about ten years and goes insane. Jane gets locked in the red room at the young age of ten for about five minutes and lashes out hysterically. Secondly, after Bertha attacks Mr Mason she then gets tied up in the attic; Jane, when younger, received a threat to be restrained by her aunt if she did not yield. Lastly, the mad women is mental insane and Jane starts to hear voices. The madwoman in the attic has many symbols and roles that could be interpreted in this novel.
Whether it is the horrors of Victorian marriage or the controlled element of the female gender. The statement states that Bertha is the alter ego to Jane Eyre and for many reasons. The madwoman in the attic plays a big role in representing Jane herself and her unconscious and internal conflicts. Including some key emotional events Jane went through in childhood. The relations between the two just goes to show that you can’t quite escape your past characteristics and suppress them for long.
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