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Abstract

From Mrs. Reed’s house to Morton, Jane Eyre is always singled out as otherworldly. Throughout Jane Eyre, Charlotte Brontë creates different spheres and worlds through the means of social class, and the way people are thought of and treated. These worlds are presented in pairs and as a juxtaposition of each other, but Jane never belongs to either world. She remains in her own realm, always separated from the others. Throughout the text, she is compared to an elf or fairy, emphasizing the otherworldliness that defines her. While some look at Jane as a social outcast due exclusively to class boundaries and other limitations outside of her control, it is important to recognize her agency in the matter. Despite what critics have said about her “gaining social membership” by the end of the book, I will prove through textual evidence that Jane is always a part of this otherworld, a liminal place that belongs neither to one world nor the other. There are moments in the text where she seems to almost escapes this liminal realm, but in the end she must remain there, with Rochester eventually joining her in the otherworld. During each stage of her life, she reacts to her separation in different ways. I will argue in this paper that her reaction in one stage of life is the very thing that leads to her otherworldliness in the next stage.

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