Can You Explain Pathetic Fallacy In Jane Eyre?


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Will Martin Profile
Will Martin answered
The pathetic fallacy is a device where human emotions in a novel etc are reflected in the environment or landscape. Jane Eyre uses this device a lot - as we see in the first lines of the book, where it is very cold and unwelcoming outside, and Jane is relieved that it is too cold to go out with her cousins - ie the weather reflects the cold and unwelcoming family she lives in. You see the same idea when it turns very cold and snowy after her quarrel with her aunt; and most dramatically later in the novel, when Rochester proposes to her - it is a beautiful summer night, but suddenly the peace is shattered by a storm that splits the chestnut tree down the middle. This reflects the painful and dramatic events to come; and like the tree, Rochester (and the relationship) will be badly damaged but ultimately survive.

These are just a few examples. There are lots of others. Hope this helps.
Anonymous Profile
Anonymous answered
Pathetic Fallacy is also used at the beginning of chapter 23, where the weather is described to be very romantic,  "A splendid midsummer shone over england"
"skies so pure, suns so radiant"
this gives the readers a feeling that something positive is going to happen.
Will Martin Profile
Will Martin answered
This term sounds rather insulting, but in fact it is quite neutral. It's the name given by John Ruskin to a very common tendency – sometimes a deliberate device –by writers and artists to imagine or depict a connection between human emotion and the appearance or behaviour of the landscape. At its simplest, this tendency is so strong that it's found its way into cliché; we say "miserable weather" or "a threatening sky" all the time, as if the weather or environment shared our emotions or was somehow aware of us. In, say, Victorian fiction, a popular scenario involved an errant daughter being thrown out of the family home, her shameful illegitimate baby wrapped in a shawl, and stepping out into heavy rain or, preferably, a snowstorm. Even now, the device often appears in cinema – a quarrel may be mirrored in a sudden thunderstorm, while lovers are usually united in sunny weather.

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