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

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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.

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