• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Jane Eyre - Development of Jane's Characters as a Child.

Extracts from this document...


The novel begins with the ten-year-old Jane Eyre narrating from the home of the well-off Reed family in Gateshead Hall. Mr. Reed, Jane?s uncle, took her into his home after both of her parents died of typhus fever, but he soon died himself. Mrs. Reed was particularly resentful of her husband?s favouritism toward Jane and takes every opportunity to neglect and punish her. At the beginning of the narrative, Jane is secluded behind the curtains of a window seat and reading Bewick?s ?History of British Birds.? Although she attempted to join the rest of the family, she was refused permission by Mrs. Reed to play with her cousins Eliza, John, and Georgiana. Although the family mistreats her, Jane still wishes that she could have the same attention and love that her cousins receive from her Aunt. John interrupts Jane?s reading and informs her that she has no right to read their books because she is an orphan who is dependent on his family. He strikes her with the book, and Jane surprises him by fighting to defend herself. John is frightened by Jane?s re-action and blames her for the fight. As punishment for Jane?s behaviour, Mrs. Reed has two servants lock her in the ?red-room,? the room in which Mr. Reed died. Bronte uses the narration of Jane?s voice, and this makes the reader feel more sympathetic character, but Bronte incorporates all of the tragic facts of Jane?s childhood in the first few pages. ...read more.


One day, Jane challenges Mrs. Reed, questioning what her late husband would think of her behaviour. Mrs. Reed punishes Jane for the impertinent question, boxing her ears and ordering Bessie to lecture her, but Jane is interested in the sudden look of fear that she detected in her aunt?s eyes. When the holidays arrive, Jane continues to be excluded from family celebrations and finds solace only in the doll with which she sleeps and in Bessie's kindly goodnight kisses. In mid-January, Mr. Brocklehurst, visits Gateshead and interrogates Jane about her religious beliefs. When Jane informs him that she finds the Psalms to be uninteresting, Mr. Brocklehurst warns her that such beliefs are a sign of wickedness, and she must repent and cleanse her "wicked heart." Mrs. Reed tells Mr. Brocklehurst that she hopes that Jane?s time at Lowood will reform her, particularly her tendency to lie, an accusation that stings Jane. After Mr. Brocklehurst leaves, Jane defends her honesty to her aunt and launches a series of recriminations. Mrs. Reed seems stunned and leaves the room, but Jane's victorious feelings soon give way to remorse. She feels better later when Bessie confides in her that she prefers Jane to the other children. Religion makes its first appearance in the novel in the form of Mr. Brocklehurst. Already, we can see the religious hypocrisies that Bronte exposes; Mr. Brocklehurst believes the deceitful Mrs. Reed?s accusations about Jane and relishes the seemingly heartless reformations that take place at school. ...read more.


Lloyd's visit to her during her illness. Miss Temple believes her and promises to write Mr. Lloyd for confirmation; when he does, Jane's name will be cleared. She treats the girls to tea and cake and discusses intellectual matters with Helen. The bedtime bell breaks the heavenly atmosphere, and Miss Scatcherd reprimands Helen for messiness as soon as the girls enter their bedroom. The next day Helen must wear the word "Slattern" on a paper crown around her forehead; at the end of the day, Jane tears it off for her and burns it. A week later Miss Temple announces to the school that Jane's name has been cleared of all of Mr. Brocklehurst?s charges, and she is officially reaccepted into the community. Jane is relieved to be cleared of blame and works harder in class, particularly in French and drawing. Despite its failings, Lowood is beginning to grow on her. In this chapter, Jane reveals her constant need for love and affirmation from others. No doubt a result of her lonely and loveless time at Gateshead, Jane believes that love is the only thing that can make her happy. Helen counters by describing her belief that spirituality is enough; love in the earthly realm is nothing when compared to the spiritual love of God. While it is clear that Jane will never accept these notions completely, Helen is correct in noting that Jane needs to be less reliant on others. In order to gain independence and strength of character, Jane must learn to be dependent on herself and rely less on the love of those around her. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Charlotte Bronte section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Charlotte Bronte essays

  1. Discuss the Role of Religion in Jane Eyre

    Such a questioning nature may be said to undermine the idea that she has Christianity at her core for moral direction. Jane, however, is unable to adopt Helen Burns' meek and forbearing mode of Christianity, as it is too passive for her to accept, although she loves and admires Helen for it.

  2. 'The Settings in Jane Eyre represent stages in the development of Jane's character'

    The names could also suggest which parts of life Bronte felt to be best and worst for Jane it is clear that Moor House is where Bronte feels she is in the best position because of her family and fortune as well as her independence.

  1. Jane Eyre: an unconventional heroine. Explore how the female position is presented

    Bronte is stressing that women must be admired for their character rather than their outward beauty; that appearances can deceive and that women are worth more than social or economic status. Another contrast is formed between Jane and Bessie, the maid at Gateshead.

  2. Essentially, Jane Eyre is a story of romantic love Discuss.

    Setting is used throughout the novel to depict the protagonist's emotions or mood. The parallelism of the weather to the character's mood is apparent. Jane seems to be in a pleasant mood whenever something good happens between her and Mr Rochester, and likewise the weather is pleasant.

  1. From your reading of Chapters 1, 2 and 26 of Jane Eyre, as well ...

    earlier assert that 'most women do not creep by daylight', therefore proleptically implying something abnormal about herself. In "Jane Eyre", this same physicality is used by Bront� in her presentation of Bertha Mason Rochester, as she is first introduced to Jane and to the readers 'on all fours...

  2. Jane Eyre. We would like to show you Jane Eyres character and ...

    With Jane Eyre, Charlotte Bront� created a literary work that shook traditional conventions in Victorian England by showing the feminist view so clearly. It is a work that refutes denial and ignorance of women's sexual identity and passion. Jane Eyre shows that women are capable of being passionate in a marriage where the partners are equals.

  1. How does Charlotte Bront develop the adult Jane Eyre through the presentation of the ...

    On the other hand, Jane is not a pacifist; she believes in the "eye for an eye" doctrine, and is reluctant to be passive, unless treated with respect. This is shown at one point when Jane instinctively argues with Mrs Reed after she has accused Jane of having a deceitful character.

  2. How does Bronte explore the position of women in Victorian society in the novel ...

    see how her character greatly opposes that of Rochesters wife, Bertha Mason, and how this applies to women in Victorian society. Bertha does not seem to apply to normal society- she appears too extreme in her actions. She parallels Jane's behaviour in the red room through rebellion and anger(described to have ?bloodshot eyes? and a ?demonic laugh?)

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work