Jane Eyre and Bertha Mason (Research Paper)

Jane Eyre and Bertha Mason are two very similar characters, yet they are also very distinct characters. They are not similar in the sense that their personalities reflect each other, but in the fact that their pasts can be interpreted as being similar. However, it is in reaction to their pasts that they have turned out so different. While Jane is described as a calm and intellectual thinker; Bertha is described as a “wild animal” that is not capable of rational reasoning (pg. 367). Charlotte Bronte describes and even forms Bertha to be this “creature”, as she is so often described, in order to infer onto the reader the result of giving in to one’s passion. Bertha, in essence, is a possible outcome Jane would have become like had she succumbed to her passion permanently and allowed it to control her life; she is thus depicted as the foil character of Jane.
By looking into both Jane’s and Bertha’s past we, the reader, can depict how Jane and Bertha are similar. Jane experienced an extremely isolated and solitary childhood where she was neither accepted nor wanted. It was due to her family background and her lack of money that the family did not accept her. Not only did her family reject her but society also rejected her because of her lack of status and money. She was not accepted anywhere, not with the Reeds because they shunned her, and she did not fit in with the servants, lower class, because her relationship with the Reeds. This is also witnessed with Bertha, she, too, was not accepted anywhere when she was young. As it is known, Bertha was half-Creole and half-British, which alienated her from both ethnicities. It alienates her from both classes as a result of being only half of both ethnicities, not a whole which means neither one fully accepted her.
Jane and Bertha were both looked down upon by society and both of them were restricted by society’s limitations on their lives and actions. However, it is their reaction to such limitations placed upon them...