The Theme of Imagination in Charlotte Bronte’s Jane Eyre and Lewis Caroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland

Category: Fiction
Last Updated: 28 Jun 2023
Pages: 2 Views: 82

The influence imagination has over a person can be very powerful. Both Charlotte Brontë and Lewis Carroll captured the importance of imagination for both adults and children. Using imagination allows adults to be themselves after they have spent a lifetime hiding their true selves, and children - who are themselves - to think they are someone else and transport them to lands filled with mystery. These two aspects can be seen in Brontë's Jane Eyre and Carroll's Alice's Adventures in Wonderland.

The character of Jane as a child in Jane Eyre is full of imagination. She uses its power to escape the dull life with the Reeds to the interesting worlds in books. Charlotte Brontë helps us see how she does this by giving us Jane's thoughts on one such occasion. Though Jane may not understand all the words in many of the books she looks at, she can still look through them because "[eJach picture told a story; mysterious often to my undeveloped understanding and imperfect feelings, yet ever profoundly interesting" (Brontë 11).

Throughout the novel we see Jane change from using imagination to escape reality to using it to escape who she is. With Mr. Rochester, Jane becomes an ethereal being that was "a fairy, and come from Elf-land" (Bronte 308). Even though Jane does not see herself as this beautiful fairy, she does enjoy the idea that she is not bound to one form. This lets her choose how she will act; essentially, imagination lets her choose her identity.

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Just like Brontë's Jane, Lewis Carroll's child character Alice is also able to use the power of imagination. The full influence of imagination can be witnessed when Alice dreams up the entire world of Wonderland. At first, she does not even realize that she is in a dream realm. Not until she says, "I fancied that [fairy tales] never happened, and now here I am in the middle of one" does she start to understand that indeed fairy tales do not happen in real life (Carroll 86-87).

Upon this realization, she does not decide to leave, instead, she advances into the dream half believing that what she is seeing is partly real. In other words, Alice is free to see what she wants, even if that thing is slightly insane or hard to believe.

As seen in these two novels, imagination is powerful. It can help children work through tough situations and help adults understand who they truly are. Even now, without realizing it, we use imagination every day. We may not do it consciously, but every time we think of how situations could have gone differently or wished we were somewhere else, we have been using what we learned to do as children. That is, we have subconsciously been embracing the use of imagination. And Jane does not see herself as this beautiful fairy, she does enjoy the idea that she is not bound to one form. And else and transport them to lands filled with mystery. These two aspects can be seen in Brontë's Jane Eyre and Carroll's.

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The Theme of Imagination in Charlotte Bronte’s Jane Eyre and Lewis Caroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. (2023, Jun 28). Retrieved from https://phdessay.com/the-theme-of-imagination-in-charlotte-brontes-jane-eyre-and-lewis-carolls-alices-adventures-in-wonderland/

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