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'But you are passionate Jane, that you must allow'. How does Charlotte Bronte present and develop Jane Eyre's character in the first ten chapters of the novel?

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Introduction

'But you are passionate Jane, that you must allow'. How does Charlotte Bronte present and develop Jane Eyre's character in the first ten chapters of the novel? The quotation in the title is spoken by Mrs Reed, Jane Eyre's aunt. Charlotte Bronte uses it to inform the reader that Jane is imaginative, headstrong, wild and impulsive. My essay will include a discussion of our first meeting with Jane Eyre until the end of her school life. The first time we meet Jane she is living at her Aunt Reeds' house with her cousins John, Georgiana and Elizabeth. Shortly into the first chapter she is involved in a fight with her cousin, John, and we find out that he physically abuses her. Jane is sitting alone reading a book, which makes us think that she wants to escape from the family, when John finds her and shouts at her, trying to make her call him master. When she refuses to do so he hits her and calls her a 'rat', he then throws a book at her and she responds by calling him a 'wicked and cruel boy'. She compares him to a murderer, a slave driver and says he is like the Roman emperors. This behaviour shows us that she is not a typical Victorian child because she doesn't follow the guidelines of being seen and not heard or only speaking when spoken to. ...read more.

Middle

When Jane first meets Mr Brocklehurst at Gateshead, the home of her aunt, he is very stern and says that if she doesn't change her ways she will go to hell. He tells her she has a wicked heart and after that Jane is told, by her Aunt Reed, to sit down and she is kept out of the conversation. After this we learn that Jane is accepted to Lowood. On Jane's first day of school at Lowood, Mr Brocklehurst punishes her on the reasons given by her aunt for her attendance at Lowood. He makes her feel embarrassed and ashamed by making her stand on a chair while he tells the class how bad and wicked she is. It also makes her feel like her chances of success have been ruined because she was put down after she had made an improvement on her life and people had started treating her like an equal. These incidents show us that Jane has developed a lot more because she is starting to care about having a successful life and future. We can also see that Jane has started to develop into a typical Victorian child because she is accepting the fact that she has to be punished and she is taking the punishments given to her without voicing her opinions. ...read more.

Conclusion

Other methods by which the reader's understanding of the development of Jane's character is through the imagery and similes used. In chapter one Jane compares herself to a Turk, from this the reader can gather that she feels out of place and like a foreigner in her own home. Chapter two compares her with a mad - cat which suggests she is passionate and wild. The imagery that is used is of God and Death. In the first chapter it is said that ' God will punish her' and ' strike her dead in the midst of her tantrums'. This reveals that although Jane Eyre did not have any recollection of a faith or of God, it was always present in her life and it was well known with everyone else in her family and friends. It seems that Bronte shows the reader that Jane Eyre has developed a lot in the first ten chapters of the story, but, the definition of the quotation used in the title has stayed the same most of the way through. In the end Jane is more independent and less childish. She doesn't act on her impulse as much and she isn't as imaginative as she used to be. People and society helped her to be the person she was at the end of her schooling at Lowood and she is determined in her new career and positive about her future. Jane Eyre Final Draft Danielle Spackman page 3 Miss Gunning ...read more.

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