How is Jane Eyre GOTHIC?
In my opinion it is not!
It is a love story but not necessarily a romance, rather a study of the psychology of love of early Victorian sensibility. A journey in discovery of the multifaceted characteristics of love , starting from that of a young girl and ending with that of a woman. And love is a more interesting subject than fright. For Charlotte Bronte it was a more compelling a subject than writing an entertainment of the Gothic type, of Horace Walpole's The Castle of Otranto.
Gothic is usually defined by example: by Walpole's The Castle of Otranto (1764), or Ann Radcliffe, The Italian (1797). “In The Italian, Radcliffe uses a technique of scene painting to invest particular landscapes with complexes of emotional meaning for her characters. This practice is of interest to a study of sensibility in that it emphasizes personal, affective relationships with scenes of nature. In particular, the view of the bay of Naples comes to represent, for Ellena and Vivaldi, a complex of ideas that links their personal love to a familial and domestic ideal.”1 In the example of The Italian, the simple definition of Gothic as connected with supernatural has to be expanded by Ann Radcliffe's emphasis of “complexes of emotional meanings”, or passion of the characters, leading directly to the emphasis on passion as emphasized by Charlotte Bronte. This type of analysis of Gothic has the flaw of necessity of familiarity with the original sources. What is needed is a abstract generic definition, in spite of all shortcomings.
“Gothic is variously defined. In a recent book review Leslie Fiedler implies that Gothic is shoddy mystery-mongering, whereas F. Cudworth Flint defines the Gothic tradition, which he considers “nearly central in American literature”, as “a literary exploration of death”.2
Cuberfilm writes - I'm defending the declaration that JE is a Gothic tale. Why? - Cuberfilm is asking a question and I found Robert B. Heilman's essay...