F-Eyre-y Tale

Essay by EssaySwap ContributorHigh School, 12th grade February 2008

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Almost every little girl dreams of becoming a princess. This seemingly instinctive desire is fueled by countless Disney movies in which some breathtakingly beautiful, under-appreciated little girl gets an unexpected opportunity to meet Prince Charming. Naturally, the two fall in love and live happily ever after. Sometimes there are complications such as an ensorcelled castle or a missing glass slipper, but essentially the story is the same. Similarly, Charlotte Bronte's novel Jane Eyre is one of the fairytale mold. This novel is full of parallels between Jane's experiences and those of Cinderella. A second story is seen as Her love life brings to mind the relationship between the main characters in the timeless classic, Beauty and the Beast. While the plot may resemble those of the bedtime favorites of little girls around the world, the characters have some obvious differences. The comparisons between Jane Eyre and those of the previously mentioned fairytales facilitate the transformation of the novel from the fantasy realm into that of everyday life.

Jane Eyre is the Victorian personification of Cinderella. Orphaned at a young age, Jane is sent to live with her aunt and uncle and their three children. After the death of her uncle, her cousins act out their bottled up jealousy toward Jane. Cinderella's evil step sisters take the form of Jane's three cousins: John, Georgiana, and Elizabeth. These three characters are the cause of much of Jane's childhood abuse. Just as Cinderella's evil stepmother is apathetic toward Cinderella's abuse, Mrs. Reed is inequitable towards Jane. We can clearly see this cruelty begins in the first chapter when John provokes Jane with verbal taunting and eventually throws a book at her. Jane acts in her own self-defense and is immediately punished for "flying" at Master John (Ch 1, pg 5). Jane's existence at...