Themes for Love Through The Ages

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A mind map of the themes for AQA A-level English Literature A: Love Through The Ages. Literary connections for Jane Eyre and pre-1900 poetry anthology.
09DyerJ .
Mind Map by 09DyerJ ., updated more than 1 year ago
09DyerJ .
Created by 09DyerJ . about 2 years ago
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Resource summary

Themes for Love Through The Ages
  1. Expectations of society
    1. The relationship between Blanche Ingram and Rochester represents society's expectations of marriage based on wealth and social class rather than love
      1. ‘She Walks In Beauty’ also shows an idealised love, without the speaker actually knowing the woman he admires
      2. Mrs Fairfax embodies 19th Century attitudes towards social class and marriage. She disapproves of the relationship between Rochester and Jane
        1. Blake criticises rules and restrictions in 'The Garden of Love'
        2. At Gateshead, Jane is treated poorly by Mrs Reed and her cousins. She is frequently reminded about being a “dependent”
          1. Rochester expects Jane to stay with him after finding out about Bertha. Women were expected to do what men wanted them to
            1. In 'The Flea', the speaker tries to persuade his lover to consummate their love
              1. In 'To His Coy Mistress', the speaker also tries to get his lover to accept his romantic advances
              2. Rochester's arranged marriage to Bertha was based on wealth
              3. Religion
                1. St John's strong religious views make him repress his passion for Rosamond. He dedicates his life to serving God, and becomes a missionary in India.
                  1. In 'The Garden of Love', Blake argues that religion should not impact sexual freedom
                    1. St John’s devotion to religion can be compared with the presentation of obsessive love in ‘Non Sum Qualis Eram Bonae Sub Regno Cynarae’
                      1. This can be compared to the presentation of selfless love in ‘Remember’
                      2. Helen Burns is a source of inspiration for Jane. Her religious teachings and trust in God influence Jane throughout the novel and help her to deal with the hardships she faces
                        1. In the 'Garden of Love', Blake argues that religion should be about love and freedom.
                        2. Jane's love for Rochester interferes with her religious beliefs. Rochester replaces God as Jane's idol.
                          1. Shakespeare’s ‘Sonnet 116’ explores perfect, idealistic love
                            1. 'The Flea' argues that passionate love itself is scared, like religion
                              1. In 'A Song (Absent from thee), Rochester may be speaking to God, justifying his sinful behaviour
                              2. St John wishes for Jane to marry him to help with his missionary work, although this is not what she wants. This offer could show the oppressive and controlling nature of religious devotion
                                1. 'The Garden of Love' criticises the controlling nature of religion
                                2. Mr Brocklehurst uses the idea of “starve the body to save the soul” at Lowood. The living conditions and punishments at Lowood are awful, with the aim of instilling Christian values in the students.
                                  1. ‘The Garden of Love’ also criticises religious institutions
                                  2. Helen does not fear death, as she will escape the suffering in the world and be rewarded in Heaven.
                                  3. Grief and loss
                                    1. Helen tells Jane not to grieve for her as she is being reunited with God
                                      1. This selfless attitude to love is also shown by the speaker in 'Remember'
                                        1. In 'Ae Fond Kiss', although is Burns is upset about losing 'Nancy', he accepts her decision
                                        2. Helen continues to impact Jane's life after her death
                                          1. The speaker in 'Remember' wants to have a lasting impact on their beloved
                                          2. Jane and Rochester's shared pain at their parting
                                            1. In 'Ae Fond Kiss', separation is also presented as sudden and painful
                                              1. Like in 'Sonnet 116', their love survives their separation
                                                1. ‘A Song (Absent From Thee)’ presents separation as a painful, but inevitable, part of love
                                                2. Rochester’s relationship with Bertha was based on lust rather than love, and both lost the opportunity for true love and happiness
                                                  1. The speaker in ‘The Scrutiny’ causes pain through his attitude towards women as conquests
                                                    1. The knight in ‘La Belle Dame Sans Merci’ is condemned to a fate of misery on the brink of death, left only with the memories of the time he spent with the lady
                                                      1. In Hardy’s ‘At An Inn’, the speaker reflects on the lost opportunity of love
                                                    2. Dangerous sexuality
                                                      1. Bertha was "unchaste", and ends up "mad" and trapped within Thornfield
                                                        1. Men were much more able to express their sexuality. In 'A Song (Absent from thee)', the speaker expects their lover to remain faithful to them whilst they satisfy their desires for other women.
                                                        2. Rochester threatens Jane when she tries to leave him and tells her to "beware"
                                                          1. The dangers of obsessive love can also be seen in ‘ Non Sum Qualis Eram Bonae Sub Regno Cynarae’
                                                          2. Rochester was trapped in an unhappy marriage with Bertha. He was at first "allured" by her, before realising she wasn't what she appeared.
                                                            1. 'Who So List To Hount' shows the danger's of sexuality. The speaker chases after a woman to discover she is owned by a powerful man.
                                                              1. Bertha can be compared to the dangerous and mysterious lady in ‘La Belle Dame Sans Merci’
                                                              2. Throughout ‘Jane Eyre’ sexuality is linked to sin, with religious links to the Garden of Eden and the Sermon on the Mount
                                                                1. Blake criticises the restrictive nature of social conventions and organised religion in ‘The Garden of Love’
                                                                  1. In ‘The Ruined Maid’, Hardy questions society’s expectations of women being chaste
                                                                2. Oppression of women
                                                                  1. Rochester uses Blanche to make Jane jealous, and disguises himself as a fortune-teller to find out information that Jane otherwise would not willingly tell him.
                                                                    1. In 'The Flea', the speaker uses a structured, persuasive argument to convince his lover to have sex, when she does not want to
                                                                      1. In 'A Song (Absent from thee)', the speaker tries to persuade his lover to remain faithful to him, whilst he has affairs with other women
                                                                        1. In 'To His Coy Mistress', the speaker tries to persuade a woman to accept his romantic advances through a ‘carpe diem’ argument
                                                                        2. Rochester's treatment of Bertha shows the dangers for women who did not control their passion
                                                                          1. In 'The Scrutiny', the speaker describes his quest to sleep with virgin women as like finding "treasure" in "un-plowed-up ground". Women were valued on their chastity.
                                                                            1. Thomas Hardy challenges stereotypes surrounding women’s virginity in ‘The Ruined Maid’, Amelia’s life has improved as a prostitute
                                                                            2. Rochester's mistresses show how women were just conquests for men
                                                                              1. In 'The Scrutiny', the speaker wants to go on a "round", or a grand tour as a rite of passage, sleeping with a variety of women
                                                                                1. In ‘A Song (Absent From Thee)’, the speaker argues that his infidelity is a natural instinct and beyond his control
                                                                              2. Eternal Love
                                                                                1. Jane and Rochester are reunited after Rochester is injured and Jane inherits a fortune.
                                                                                  1. 'Sonnet 116' suggests that love doesn't change with time
                                                                                    1. In 'A Song (Absent from thee)', the speaker thinks their relationship won't change after his infidelity
                                                                                    2. Jane continues to love Rochester even after she finds out about Bertha and leaves Thornfield
                                                                                      1. The pain of eternal love is also shown in ‘Ae Fond Kiss’
                                                                                        1. In Hardy’s ‘At An Inn’, the speaker regrets not recognising love until it was too late
                                                                                        2. Jane’s love for Helen lasts beyond death
                                                                                          1. The speaker in ‘Remember’ wants to have a lasting influence on their beloved after death
                                                                                            1. In ‘ Non Sum Qualis Eram Bonae Sub Regno Cynarae’, the speaker’s obsessive love for Cynara doesn’t fade with time
                                                                                            2. Blanche’s love for Rochester doesn’t last when she discovers that his fortune isn’t what it was said to be
                                                                                              1. ‘She Walks in Beauty’ explores an idealised love
                                                                                                1. In ‘The Scrutiny’, the speaker’s interest fades when he has taken the woman’s virginity
                                                                                                2. Rochester’s love relationship with Bertha is based on lust and quickly breaks down
                                                                                                  1. In ‘To His Coy Mistress’, the speaker tries to convince a woman to accept his advances, warning that they will run out of time.
                                                                                                3. Marriage and courtship
                                                                                                  1. During their month of courtship, Rochester tries to lavish Jane with gifts
                                                                                                    1. In 'To His Coy Mistress', the speaker promises his lover gifts if she accepts his romantic advances.
                                                                                                      1. In 'Who So List To Hount', the speaker enjoys chasing after a woman to gain her favour
                                                                                                      2. Jane and Rochester’s relationship and marriage breaks societal conventions
                                                                                                        1. In ‘The Flea’, the speaker tries to convince his lover to sleep with him despite the “parents grudge”, arguing that it will not impact her reputation
                                                                                                          1. Blake criticises these restrictions and argues for sexual liberation in ‘The Garden of Love’
                                                                                                          2. Rochester’s relationships with Bertha and Blanche were based on social reputation and wealth rather than love
                                                                                                            1. Jane is only able to marry Rochester when he is disabled and she gains a fortune
                                                                                                            2. Passionate and romantic love
                                                                                                              1. The celestial imagery of the moon for Jane and the sun for Rochester show how they compliment each other
                                                                                                                1. Jane and Rochester's painful parting shows how passionate they were about each other
                                                                                                                  1. The motif of fire symbolises the passion between Jane and Rochester, but with Bertha warns of the consequences of allowing passion to be uncontrolled
                                                                                                                  2. Sacrifice
                                                                                                                    1. Rochester expects Jane to sacrifice her reputation and live as his mistress after their failed marriage
                                                                                                                      1. The speaker in 'The Flea' also tries to convince their lover to have sex outside of marriage
                                                                                                                        1. In ‘The Ruined Maid’, it is not the prostitute Amelia who appears to be “ruined”, but her friend
                                                                                                                        2. Religious love is presented as a sacrifice through St John’s devotion to God and his determination to become a missionary
                                                                                                                          1. Love is sacrificed for wealth and social status with Rochester’s relationships with Blanche and Bertha
                                                                                                                          2. Family
                                                                                                                            1. Jane does not know a loving family as a child. Mrs Reed treated her with cruelty
                                                                                                                              1. Miss Temple acts as a maternal figure for Jane, and Jane also finds platonic love with Helen.
                                                                                                                                1. In ‘At An Inn’, whilst the speaker regrets the lost opportunity for love, the poem also shows the importance of friendship
                                                                                                                                2. Jane forgives Mrs Reed for mistreating her, and visits her before she dies. However, Mrs Reed still treats Jane badly.
                                                                                                                                  1. Jane finds a loving family with the Rivers. They keep in contact with Jane, as shown in the conclusion.
                                                                                                                                    1. Like in 'Sonnet 116', the love of family is presented as eternal, and acts as a guiding light (Jane is guided to the Rivers by the light of a candle)
                                                                                                                                  2. Romantic commitment
                                                                                                                                    1. Jane looks after Rochester at Ferndean Manor after he is blinded after the fire at Thornfield
                                                                                                                                      1. Jane's love for Rochester does not fade with beauty, a sentiment echoed in 'Sonnet 116'
                                                                                                                                      2. Jane was surprised that Rochester wasn't often visiting Blanche Ingram during their courtship. This would have been expected.
                                                                                                                                        1. Separation is presented as painful in ‘Ae Fond Kiss’
                                                                                                                                        2. Jane is always happy to help Rochester. She helps with Mr Mason when he is injured, save's Rochester's life and allows Rochester to confide in her
                                                                                                                                          1. Rochester did not commit to relationships with his mistresses in Europe
                                                                                                                                            1. In 'A Song (Absent from thee), the speaker is unfaithful to his lover, and does not show romantic commitment, and yet expects it in return
                                                                                                                                              1. In 'The Scrutiny', the speaker wants to try out a variety of women before committing to a relationship
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