Sunday, November 29, 2009

The Gytrash

“...a North-of-England spirit, called a 'Gytrash'; which, in the form of horse, mule, or large dog, haunted solitary ways...” (pg. 132)

A gytrash is a mythical animal, often depicted as a large black dog, that supposedly haunted travelers along the roads of Northern England. By referencing this legend, Bronte illustrates that Jane is still young at heart. Simultaneously, Bronte reflects her own attitude toward folklore. It is said that the gytrash was first documented in Jane Eyre, which leaves the reader to assume that Bronte was especially familiar with the tale and, being fond of it, was urged to write it down. Aside from the folklore aspect, this moment in the story is extremely monumental as it is Jane's first encounter with Mr. Rochester. It is ironic that what at first is fantasy in Jane's mind becomes realistic. Originally Jane thinks that what she sees and hears coming down the road (a horse and dog) are gytrashes, but she quickly discovers that it is the amiable Mr. Rochester whom she later falls in love with. This encounter nearly foreshadows Jane and Mr. Rochester's later reunion following Jane hearing her voice being called in the wind. These two encounters, among many others, suggest that they are destined to be together.

"The Gytrash." Juliette Wood. Web. 29 Nov. 2009.

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