Sunday, May 26, 2019
Painting Analysis in Jane Eyre Essay
From the opening chapter of Charlotte Bronts Jane Eyre the reader becomes aware of the powerful role that art plays. there is something extraordinary about the pictures Jane admires from other artists, as well as the scat she creates herself. Her solitary pastime a great deal operates as an outlet of pain, either past or present, and stomachs her the opportunity to deal with unpleasant emotions and memories. Janes art transcends her isolation by bringing her into contact with others who see it it functions as a bridge among her hope to be alone and her need for companion get off. Despite her struggles with inner conflict and the people in her life, Janes art helps her find personal power, marking her true personal identity as her let woman. Whether it is her come of drawings or the creations of her feature, ardeucerk has provide Jane a means of agency to survive the harrowing conditions afforded to the orphan child, allowing her to emerge as a wealthy, independent social eq ual.The first glimpse of Janes resourcefulness and mental escape comes from one of the first activities in the novel. She escapes from her powerless beam in the dirty reed household temporarily through a book taking care that it should be one stored with pictures (2). She retreats to a solitary window-seat, having drawn the red moreen blanket nearly close shrined in double retirement, and buries herself in Berwicks A History of British Birds (2). The window offered protection, but non separation from the out spot At intervals, while turning over the leaves of my book, I studied the aspect of that winter afternoon (2). through and through the images and quotes contained therein, Jane manages to acquire the only kind of power to she access to- knowledge, for separately one picture told a story mysterious often to my undeveloped understanding and imperfect feelings, yet ever profoundly interesting (3). Her interpretation of the illustrations provides training for the modern you ng woman, who will later produce her own images. Her quest for identity and power has begun, and the unripened orphan begins to discover how she can begin her journey to find her place as a social equal.Interrupting her happy retreat, looking at the pictures, is her wretched cousin bum Reed. He claims that Jane, as a dependent in his household, has no right to look at books without his permission. As punishment for her transgression, he throws her favorite Berwicks Birds at her, physically knocking Jane down with its force (3-5). A make do ensues, with Jane comparing Reeds actions to those of murderers, slave drivers, and Roman emperors. Adults intervene Jane is blamed for the conflict and is confined to the red room where she experiences terrible suffering. In this incident, Janes opthalmic pleasure takes the form of looking at art objects in prints and illustrated books. Instead of being a h fortless leisure activity, this looking is regarded by the male timber as a provocati on, setting off various stratagems aimed to reconfirm rights of ownership by laying down restrictive or subordinating conditions of access (Kromm 374). Confrontations among Jane and male authority would follow her from her removal from the Reed home to her schooling at Lowood.Early on in her education at Lowood, Jane finds herself in a situation similar to that of the breakfast room incident at Gateshead. Trying to escape the notice of the headmaster Mr. Brocklehurst. With no massive curtain to shield her this time, she held her specify in such a manner as to conceal her face (62). The treacherous slate slipped from her grasp and crashed to the floor. As she rallied her forces for the worst. It came (62). In a humiliating leakage of indignation, Mr. Brocklehurst, placing Jane on a stool for all to see, publically admonishes her for dropping school property. He further attempts to ostracize her from the others by condemning her a liar (information he received from Mrs. Reed, Janes wretched benefactress). Jane serves the time, designated by her punisher, sobbing and full of shame.She realizes that this wrongdoing would eliminate Miss Temples promise to teach her drawing and to keep an eye on French. Jane descends from the stool in search of Miss Temple, her beloved superintendent, who often listens to Mr. Brocklehursts sermonizing in ladylike silence with her mouth closed as if it would have need a sculptors chisel to open it (Gilbert 784). Miss Temple kindly allows Jane to speak in her defense, such an unfamiliar concept coming from the Reed residence. Once Janes story is corroborated she is rewarded with beginning lessons in drawing and French.Her subsequent years at the Lowood Institution, although glossed over by Bront, are when Jane emerges as an artist. Her first outline is landscape with a crooked cottage whose graphic limitations bring about a daydream that evening in which she envisions a feast of more over(p) imagery(72).Each imaginary scene is one she anticipates producing with her own hands picturesque landscapes with ruins, lowing cattle that recall Dutch painters like Cuyp, butterflies hovering near roses, birds pecking at fruit. Through this elegiac, bucolic, wish-fulfilling dreamscape, she sees herself become adept at making freely-penciled, rather than minutely copied, renderings of the natural world intensively and expansively observed. (Kromm 377-378) Janes goal is clearly much higher(prenominal) than reproducing others works. She sees herself acquiring the skills of a professional artist. Jane learns at Lowood that she can create and lose herself in alternate worlds when she draws and paints. She shows the ability to envision a lightsome life different from her circumstances. However, following Miss Temples departure from Lowood, Jane returns to feelings of isolation. Once a pass water she finds solace gazing out a window, realizing the promise the other side has to offer.Her restless desire of life outside the classroom leads Jane to seek employment elsewhere. It is through her preparations to leave Lowood that the reader learns of Janes growth and achievement as an artist. Her natural facility is a landscape, a watercolor deed overn to the superintendent of Lowood, who had interceded on her behalf with Brocklehurst to obtain for Jane a reference and permission to leave the school (Kromm 379). The painting was framed, and position prominently over the chimney-piece, in the parlor at Lowood. Her painting is one of several accomplishments that impress Bessie, the Gateshead servant who visits upon learning of Janes departure for her next business enterprise at Thornfield.Bessie thinks the painting is beautiful It is as fine a picture as any Miss Reeds drawing-master could paint, let alone the young ladies themselves, who could not come near it (90). Jane now possesses the accomplishments of a lady, and to a degree which will ensure her economic emancipation as a teacher. The picture Be ssie sees is not described it has no significance for Jane other than as a social gestureit functions simply as a milestone on her advance to independence (Milligate 316). Janes artistic confidence and her newly acquired social status, follow her to her next adventure at Thornfield.During her time as a governess, Janes art continues to gain the attention of others. Shortly after Rochesters first appearance at Thornfield, he summons Jane and tries to get to know Janes qualifications as governess for Adle. Rochester asks to ken again some of her work the young girl had shown him, adding, I dont know whether they were entirely of your doing probably a master aided you? (124). Jane vehemently denies his accusation, yet Rochester remains skeptical. He orders Jane to fetch her portfolio, and investigates her work, promising her, I can recognize patchwork (124). Somewhat satisfied after his perusal, that the work is from one hand, a hand that she confirms is her own.Focusing his attention on three watercolors he asks Jane, Where did you get your copies? When Jane replies Out of my head, he continues to goad her, That head I see now on your shoulders? (124). Jane passes his critical judgment without becoming unsettled. She offers her own critique of her work that is occupying Rochesters attention her judgment upon them was nothing wonderful because her manual skill was not sort of able to capture the vivid subjects that she had imagined with her spiritual eye (Gates 36).The watercolor landscapes, although produced at Lowood, are far from the scene that been so admired A seascape, a landscape, and polarscape respectively, each fantastic natural setting has the disturbing feature of a dead, fragmented, or cropped physical body (Kromm 379). In the seascape, a wrecked ships mast rises above the water in composition dominated by rough seas and clouds. A lone cormorant sits on the mast with a sparkling bracelet in its mouth pecked from the arm of a womans corpse lying al most submerged in the foreground (Kromm 379). The second painting shows a leafy, grassy hill with a large stretch of dark blue twilight sky.Rising into the sky is a bust-length view of a woman She is an allegorical figure, her gauzy lineaments and crown justifying her interpretation as a vision of the Evening Star. The pleasant otherworldliness of this princess-like delineation is subverted by the greenback of her features, which include wild-looking eyes and hair streaming in weaken disarray (Kromm 379). The third watercolor is a polarscape whose winter sky is pierced by the peak of an iceberg against which a gigantic head rests, its forehead support by two hands. The focus is entirely placed on the singular head whose black, bejeweled turban registers a note of orientalist exoticism. The eyes of this giant are glazed, fixed, blank, communicating only a sense of despair (Kromm 379).Her descriptions of her work display the limitless depths of her visual sensation. They are, as R ochester observes, like something Jane must have seen in a dream (126). He asks whether she was happy when she painted them and remarks that she must surely have existed in a kind of artists dreamland while she blent and arranged these strange bear ons (126). here(predicate) Rochester catches the essence of surrealistic art, which tends toward the kind of involuntarism best known in dreams, aiming at automatism and toward the unconscious. Jane of course was not aiming anywhere (Gates 37). Jane says she was simply absorbed and her subjects has risen vividly on her question (126).Jane has the visions but lacks the skill to accurately portray them whereas the superintendents picture indicated accomplishments with social and economic value, these pictures reveal Janes emotional statusshe has do little progress (Millgate 316). Jane is still maturing. The paintings may evidence a halt in her artistic promise, however, the conversation with Rochester, about her artistic promise, ignite s a sense of par between the pair. Jane views Rochesters investigatory comments as a, breath of life he is the only qualified critic of her art and soul (Gilbert 352). Jane and Rochesters shared love of art plants the seeds of their mutual affection and appreciation of one another.Besides using her art as a means to access Janes thoughts, Rochester offers Janes work to the public. Rochester becomes, the link that enables Jane to expand her ability to share imagination (Cassell 112). She informs her reader, One day he had company to dinner, and had sent for my portfolio in order, doubtless, to exhibit its contents (129). Jane placidly accepts Rochesters display of her work, perhaps as an affirmation of the value of her talent, or perhaps as a means to communicate her imaginative self with a bigger audience (Cassell 112). Jane takes a risk and allows herself, through her work, to be vulnerable to societys scrutiny.Personal scrutiny, in addition to public, accompanies Janes work as it transitions from the familiar natural landscapes, to the unfamiliar world of portraiture. Here Jane uses her art as a sort of punishment for not seeing reality.The way Janes creative imagination goes to work on its materials is quite precisely revealed in the genesis of the pictures she actually completes while at Thornfield, those contrasting portraits of a Governess, disconnected, poor, and plain and of Blanche, an accomplished lady of station which she intends as medicine for a mind which love of Rochester has infected with wishful thinking. (Millgate 317) Janes ivory miniature of Blanche Ingram is executed before Jane has laid eyes on Blanche and is based upon Mrs. Fairfaxs flattering description of her. When Jane asks Mrs. Fairfax for her opinion of Rochester, she says of the womans response, There are people who seem to have no notion of sketching a character, or observing and describing salient points, either in persons or things the good lady evidently belonged to this cla ss (104).However, when describing Janes rival for Rochesters affection, Mrs. Fairfaxs term is bond. Studying her own face in the mirror, she civilizationes her a charcoal self-portrait in less than two hours, omitting none of what she calls her defects, the harsh lines and displeasing irregularities of her face, refusing to exercise the artists option to use the chalk to soften or blur the sharp planes of her features (Kromm 382). Jane paints Blanches portrait on smooth ivory, taking a fortnight to finish it, and the result is a Grecian beauty whose features are called smooth, soft, sweet, round, and delicate (Kromm 382).Looking at both portraits, she asks herself which woman Rochester would prefer The contrast was as great as self-control could desire (162). The painting exercise becomes a means of self-discipline, and a way of representing social hierarchical position through the creation of concrete images (Azim 192). Contemplating the two works, and their disparities, she puts herself firmly in her place. She scolds herself for her romantic fantasies about Rochester that could ruin herself and her career. The contrast between the real and the ideal is imagined and put forth, to keep in mind the distance between desire and reality(Azim 193). Here Jane paints out of her minds eye, not in order to indulge her imagination, but to control it.Jane returns to Gateshead to visit her dying aunt Reed. Bessie greats her kindly, but Jane otherwise receives a cold greeting from her aunt and cousins. Returning to such a disheartening place, coupled with missing Rochester, Jane uses her art as a means of comfort. She carries her art with her because art supplies her with occupation or amusement (250). Her first sketch there shows her thoughts in line with Rochesters as she sketches the characters that he often associated with her (Cassell 116). She drawsFancy vignettes, representing any scene that happened momentarily to shape itself in the ever-shifting kaleidoscope o f imagination a glimpse of sea between two rocks the rising moon, and a ship crossing its disk a group of reeds and water-flags, and a naiads head, crowned with lotus-flowers, rising out of them an elf sitting in a hedge-sparrows nest, under a wreath of hawthorn-bloom. (236-237) Her fantasies shift to real possibility, she sketches a face-Rochesters, all in heavy black pencil and complete with flashing eyes (237).Jane describing her own work and the qualities she seeks to emphasize in the portrait strength, determination, flexibility and spirit reinforce what Jane finds attractive in Rochester. The portrait of Rochester is involuntarily made and, in fact, helps to close the chap between the mind and the representational object spontaneity, imagination, sexuality, and sexual desire combine to produce a portrait that faithfully represents the painters state of mind (Azim 195). In a time of emotional need, she unconsciously conjures up a speaking likeness of the man she loves (237). After leaving Thornfield, following the interrupted spousal relationship ceremony, Janes art provides a temporary asylum, as she grieves for Rochester. During her stay at the Moor house, her artwork earns her the admiration of Diana and Mary Rivers. They are so impressed with her talents that they give her all of their drawing supplies (360). Once again Jane attributes her talents with social status when she remarks, My skill, greater in this one point than theirs, surprised and charmed them (360). Their appreciation of her artistic skills, and their almsgiving help strengthen Janes weakened disposition. As Jane struggles to cope with losing everything that mattered to her, her artwork enlivens those around her-especially Rosamond Oliver.Janes art excites admiration, impressing Rochester with its peculiar power and electrifying Rosamond with surprise and delight. Janes painting and sketching quietly satisfy an impulse toward a kind of display that is itself subordinated to pleasur e in looking, as when she happily agrees to sketch a portrait of Rosamond I felt a thrill of artist-delight at the idea of copying from so perfect and radiant a model ( reinvigoratedman 157). Janes first description of Rosamond presents a figure seen entirely from an artists angle eyes shaped and colored as we see them in lovely picturesthe penciled browthe livelier beauties of tint and ray (372).The ease with which this terminology is manipulated shows a new detachment in Jane, as well as suggesting a certain superficiality in the figure she exams (Millgate 319). Even though Jane can use her imaginative faculties to alleviate the pain of reality, she does not separate from reality (Cassell 116). She grieves constantly for the loss of Rochester and her identity. Her art does not offer the same gratifying rewards that it once did. Her work has continued to mature and is evident by Rosamonds portrait. Mr. Oliver and St. John Rivers authenticate the precision of the portrait. The paint ing also causes St John to admit to Jane what she already knows that he is in love with Rosamond and it is while he gazes at the picture that he allows himself to give way to his feelings for a set completion of time a little space for delirium and delusion, he calls it (Losano 256).The painting also serves another function. The portrait of Rosamond Oliver brings to fruition, Janes aspirations for independence. St. John recognizes her as the rightful(prenominal) heir of a fortune. His proof of her identity consists of a signature in the ravished margin of a portrait-cover, which Jane confronts as if it belonged to another He got up, held it close to my eyes and I read, traced in Indian ink, in my own handwriting, the words JANE EYRE (392). Jane construes her signature as the work doubtless of some moment of abstraction and thus disowns it as the product of her own volition, even as it fulfills the conditions of he uncles will and her own desires to be financially independent and to belong to a family (Marcus 217).Jane Eyres art is mode of self-expression, divine revelation in rare glimpses her depth of character and aspirations for independence. As Millgate suggests, her work is one means of charting her growth to maturity (315). Beginning in the window-seat at Gateshead, a ten-year-old girl escapes abuse and neglect by escaping through images in her beloved books, through twenty years of creating herself through her art, Jane ends her career as an artist when she becomes Mrs. Jane Rochester. In the account of her married life in the final chapter, all her imaginative activity and visionary skill are devoted to the task of embodying in words, for the benefit of her cheat husband. Her gift of words helps her to create a new artist identity-a storyteller.Works CitedAzim, Firdous. Rereading Feminisms Texts in Jane Eyre and Shirley. The Colonial Rise of the Novel From Aphra Behn to Charlotte Bront. London Routledge, 1993. Bront, Charlotte. Jane Eyre. New York Barnes and Noble, Inc, 2001. Cassell, Cara. The Infernal World Imagination in Charlotte Bronts Four Novels.Diss. Georgia State University, 2001.Gates, Barbara. Visionary Woe and Its Revision Another Look at Jane Eyres Pictures. ARIEL, Vol. 7 (1976) 36-49. Gilbert, Sandra. Plain Janes Progress. Signs, Vol.2 (1977) 779-804. Kromm, Jane. Visual Culture and Scopic Custom in Jane Eyre and Villette. Victorian Literature and Culture, Vol. 26 (1998) 369-394. Losano, Antonia. The Woman Painter in Victorian Literature. capital of Ohio Ohio State University Press, 2008. Marcus, Sharon. The Profession of the Author Abstraction, Advertising, and Jane Eyre.PMLA, Vol.110 (1995) 206-219Millgate, Jane. 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