Decorative Initial T

ithonus" (1833) by Lord Alfred Tennyson uses the image of fire to describe eroticism as a vehemently powerful, uncontrollable force. The narrator of this passage remembers how he used to look upon his loved one and describes his loved one, Aurora. The curls "kindle into sunny rings" and he feels his "blood," "glow" and this same blood would "crimson" all of his loved one's "presence and portals." 'sunny", "blood", "crimson," and "glow" create warm hot and vibrant images that seem to seep into his loved one's presence. Thus this image of the flame conveys the notion that passion is uncontrollable.

Fire in Jane Eyre as in "Tithonus" also depicts this same notion of passion being an uncontrollable, almost violent force. After the fiasco wedding, when Jane suddenly finds that her groom-to-be already has a wife, Rochester requests her pledge of fidelity in return for his pledge. Upon answering Jane is apprehensive and is "experiencing an ordeal" (278) Jane describes her thoughts by saying that a "a hand of fiery iron grasped my vitals. Terrible moment: full of struggle, blackness, burning! Not a human being that ever lived could wish to be loved better than I was loved" (278). This powerful image embodies Jane and Rochester's passion, and how Jane nearly succumbs to this powerful force. In "Tithonus" and Jane Eyre, the image of fire conveys the potentially destructive force in eroticism.


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Last modified 25 November 2004