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

Describe how Jane Eyre and Shirley Valentine achieve independence and discuss how texts and characters are similar and how they differ.

Extracts from this document...


Describe how Jane Eyre and Shirley Valentine achieve independence and discuss how texts and characters are similar and how they differ. 'Jane Eyre' begins with Jane's childhood and how she treated by the Reed family she lives with. She is bullied by Master John Reed and not treated with any respect or kindness by the older members of the household. Shirley Valentine has in a way a similar life but it starts much later in her lifetime: She is middle aged and married and feels not so much neglected but unappreciated by her husband and children (whom have grown up and left home). Then probably the most important part of each text is when the two characters take on a big change. For Jane it is when she is being bullied by Master Reed and is wrongly punished when she fights back which shows that she is not highly regarded in the household. She is punished by being locked in the 'red room' and instead of just taking the punishment she fights and shouts at her captors. To further prove this was not normal behavior by Jane, Bessie (a housemaid) says 'she never did so before'cpt8 which miss Abbot replies 'But it was always in her'cpt8. This last statement shows that this anger Jane suddenly let loose had been obvious to the staff in the house and was probably due to the behavior of Master Reed and other members towards her. ...read more.


Which she is moved to, whom is thought to be the figure of Charlotte Bronte's own older sister, Maria. Jane also becomes befriended with a young teacher at her school (Miss Evans). Together Helen and Miss Evans teach Jane to be a lot calmer and to change her pent up anger into passion, which would get Jane into less trouble. Miss Evans also shows a kindness Jane has never really had before and Jane sees that it is possible to have a friendship and mutual respect for people, like Jane has with Helen before Helen dies. Later on in Jane's life she meets a man she has begun to work (Rochester) for and a relationship forms between them which I feel would not of happened if Jane had not had the guidance from her friends Helen and Miss Evans, as Rochester is very much as Jane was, and he too was in need of changing. This is similar for Shirley. While on holiday she meets a local man named Costas whom she has a relationship and she falls in love with the life she has now found and is not necessarily in love with Costas but just the thought that she is living. The end of this all comes when Shirley has to leave Greece as it's the end of her holiday. Shirley decides to stay. ...read more.


In Jane Eyre, Jane her life is observed and doesn't tell you her inner thoughts and views, but does give more room for speculation of how Jane feels about the people she encounters. I think that both characters value their independence most of all as they went so far to find. I also think they have similar views on the world around them and they both appreciate life more and can better now their lives have improved so much. A big difference in the style of these text is that it is a lot easier to relate to Shirley as she uses simple and modern language and it's easier to follow her life and not get lost in complicated text. Although Shirley Valentine does go from present too past often and can be confusing to tell which is past or present. Though Jane's life is chronological years are skipped forward between one chapter and another and so can again be confusing, especially when the text in Jane Eyre is decadent and almost unrealistic, and a lot of text maybe unnecessary. These differences tell us a lot about each character. Shirley is more down to earth and has a working class attitude and a strong accent which people can relate too. Jane sounds too had a wealthier upbringing and uses old language, which can set many readers out of touch with the character. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE 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 GCSE Charlotte Bronte essays


    This immediately attaches the reader to the novel. Also, Helen's strong belief and faith in her religion provides her character with strength as well as determination. Helen was a good friend to Jane throughout her time in the novel. As we have already found out, Helen's behaviour is a total contrast to that of Jane's.

  2. By Looking Closely At The Central Relationship, Consider To What Extent Jane Eyre and ...

    a result of the fire, Rochester and Jane become closer together since it brings Rochester down to be more of an equal to Jane which enhances the romance of their relationship. Eventually Rochester gets his eyesight back in one eye, which also enhances the happy, romantic ending.

  1. Prologue - Keith Johnson was a short man with close, iron-grey hair, and the ...

    After the gun dealing, Steve went back to the flat to check up on Michael, and to top him up on the usual whisky, and Mark and Richard went back to the safe house driving the rental car, with the boot filled with weaponry.

  2. To what extent are the characters ,Cassie and Jane Eyre, used by the writers ...

    I climbed the three staircases, raised the trap-door of the attic, and having reached the leads, looked out afar over the sequested field and hill, and along dim sky-line - that I longed for a power of vision which might overpass that limit;' this quote shows her wish for more..

  1. Compare the presentation of Childhood in Charlotte Brontë's 'Jane Eyre' and Laurie Lee's 'Cider ...

    Jane's personality becomes clear in her early life, as at ten years old she is already quite mature and is able to look at her situation and judge it very honestly. She sees herself as the centre of her own little world as a martyr.

  2. Analyse the ways in which Bronte presents the "wedding" of Jane and Rochester and ...

    Rochester tries to keep his dignity: "how like quarried marble was his pale, firm, massive front at this moment!" The fact that the colour is "pale" shows that Rochester is trying to look guiltless by not showing any reaction. This is different from an innocent man who would be shocked, most likely angry.

  1. Jane Eyre

    and fears she faces later in the novel relate back to the childhood experience. The third setting to shape Jane's character is Lowood School, to which Mrs.Reed removes her to in a bid to sever ties with the 'dependent.' It is a significant background to Jane's maturity from child to

  2. From your study of pre 20th century texts, discuss the theme of schooldays and ...

    Also when she finds out the truth about Jane, she invites Jane and Burns to share her tea and buttered toast. She also brought out a cake of her own and shared it with them. This shows that Miss Temple felt sorry for both Jane and Burns, and disagreed with the way they were treated.

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