Fantasy as Psychological Protection and a Coping Mechanism in Jane Eyre
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In Charlotte Brontë’s novel Jane Eyre, Jane uses her imagination to create fantasies that enable her to overcome difficult environmental stimuli, including an abusive homelife, physical neglect at school, restlessness due to social constraints, and separation from love. She derives her daydreams from activities including reading,painting, drawing, and pacing, using them to ignite her mind. Her fantasizing helps her to process her experiences and regulate her emotions, preventing her from losing self control and succumbing to socially unacceptable behaviour. Through her imagination, Jane directs her attention away from circumstantial negativity toward thoughts that nurture her, enabling her to obtain the psychological benefits that her external environment denies her. As a result of her fantasy engagement, Jane develops resilience and accesses a degree of agency to act as an autonomous individual instead of as a submissive victim, displaying strength despite childhood trauma and adulthood adversity.