The novel Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë is the tale of a 10 year old orphaned girl who grows up and lives through a tough life but eventually finds love.
Jane Eyre is a gothic, bildungsroman, and romantic type novel which includes many forms of literary foils. A literary foil is a character who is the opposite of another. Some foils in the novel include Mrs. Reed and Miss Temple, Blanche Ingram, Bertha Mason, and Georgiana Reed. Brontë uses Miss Reed and Mrs. Temple to present the traits of a literary foil. Mrs. Reed is Jane’s aunt who is forced to raise Jane after her husband dies.
Mr s. Reed fails to raise Jane with any love or respect even though does her best to obey every single one of her orders, but spoils her three selfish children. Jane’s awful relationship with Mrs. Reed causes her to lash out in waves of anger and to be sent away to Lowood where she meets Miss Temple. Mrs. Reed is the foil of Miss Temple since she refused to raise Jane with the love and support Miss Temple was able to provide. “I would not now have exchanged Lowood with all its privations, for Gateshead and its daily luxuries” ( Eyre 60-61).
Jane is saying that she rather be taunted at Lowood and be loved and accepted than to be with Mrs. Reed and her cruelty.Blanche Ingram is another character that Brontë uses to demonstrate foil. Blanche tried to get with Mr. Rochester because she thought an ugly husband would gain her more attention. Jane believes that love is attracted by similar spirits. “Whenever I marry,” she continued, after a pause which none interrupted, “I am resolved my husband shall not be a rival, but a foil to me. I will suffer no competitor near the throne; I shall exact an undivided homage: his devotions shall not be shared between me and the shape he sees in his mirror.
” (Eyre 128). Blanche Bertha Mason is the foil of Jane Eyre as well. Bertha was Rochester’s original wife. They didn’t work out since they fell in love young and didn’t know what they were doing. Bertha suffers insanity and is kept locked up in rooms provided by Rochester since she is his wife technically. Unlike Bertha, Jane is not interested in Rochester for money. She likes him because of the way he acts and because she believes in kindred spirits.
Although Jane runs away from Rochester because of Blanche, she comes back and gets married to Rochester secretly after Bertha commits suicide.Georgiana Reed Charlotte Brontë uses literary foil to make a contrast between characters in Jane Eyre which helps to bring out characteristics of characters. By using foil with the characters Mrs. Reed and Miss Temple, Blanche Ingram, Bertha Mason, and Georgiana Reed, the story is progressed by having plots being set by the characters. This also allows the reader to figure out the protagonists and antagonists.