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

Dicuss why Jane's early life at Lowood should be so important in shaping her character.

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Dicuss why Jane's early life at Lowood should be so important in shaping her character. When Charlotte Bront� set out to write "Jane Eyre", she boldly promised her sisters: "a heroine as plain and as small as myself, who shall be as interesting as any of yours." As promised, Jane appears decidedly plain, "so little, so pale", with "features so irregular and so marked", "sensible but not at all handsome", "queer" and "a little toad". The novel opens at Gateshead with Jane moving from childhood to puberty. Even at ten years of age, Jane feels that "I can never get away from Gateshead till I am a woman" and tells this to Mr Lloyd. She actually leaves by the end of Chapter 4. Her becoming an adult is marked by her revolt against the Reeds, which at this early age shows a self-assertiveness, but one which gets her severely punished and ostracised, but also wins her her freedom from the Reeds, first to the red room and then on to Lowood School. Lowood School represents repression and prolonged discipline. Here the girls are "starved" - (in Yorkshire dialect this means frozen as well as hungry) and deprived of all sensory awareness. They are all uniformly dressed in stiff brown dresses which "gave an air of oddity even to the prettiest" and shorn of their hair, the last sign of their femininity. ...read more.

Middle

Helen presents her with an alternative Christian view in that we should bear any amount of suffering in this world in order to benefit in the afterlife, and "love your enemies". Jane on the other hand, does not accept things merely as they are and wishes to explore and understand them, demonstrating her independence of mind. Jane's own sense of self allows her to think for herself and not slavishly adhere to the opinions of others. One of the aspects of Helen Burns' saintliness is that she seems to have accepted this idea without resentment. She accepts punishment from Miss Scatcherd in a way that amazes Jane. Jane cannot sympathise with it, although she says she knows Helen may be right and she herself may be wrong. She does not ponder on the matter. Jane wants to take time to reflect on, and gain inspiration from, her friend's humility. Helen's tolerance taught Jane to endure the same criticism from Blanche when she attempted to humiliate her in front of Rochester. Jane does not respond which would have satisfied Ingram's intention to provoke and leave herself more open to ridicule. This problem between what is natural and what is dutiful, recurs throughout the novel. When Jane knows that Rochester loves her, she is in a state of sublime happiness. ...read more.

Conclusion

From the day Miss Temple left, Jane was no longer the same. The "settled feeling" had gone, the feeling that had made Lowood "a home". Jane continues, "I was quiet. I believed I was content. To the eyes of others.....I appeared a disciplined and subdued character". That same evening Jane's attitude had changed and she felt that ......."a varied field of hopes and fears, of sensations and excitements, awaited those who had the courage to go forth.......to seek real knowledge of life amidst its perils". Each new setting brings on more challenges and more negative feelings to Jane. As she moves through these bad experiences, she learns how better to deal with them and ultimately, she is satisfied. In her arrival at Ferndean, her salvation, Jane finally breaks away from her restraints and has the freedom she always wanted. Lowood presents Jane with contrasting views of religious experience (those of Brocklehurst and Helen Burns). She gained more of a religious understanding from Helen than she did from Brocklehurst as she could not put her faith in a hypocrite. However she could never quite shake his persuasions e.g. her wedding attire. The novel ends happily. Jane has proven her independence and has been able to marry the man she loves. She has earned her happiness without violating her integrity or her conscience and both her longing for love and her self-fulfilment have been realised. ...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

  1. How has the character changed throughout the novel?

    By experiencing everything from poverty to wealth, and meeting people ranging from the terribly devout St John Rivers, to the arrogant noble ladies who so looked down on governesses, and indeed, nearly everyone who was not noble. She has had many diverse experiences in life, and they have shaped her

  2. EXAMINE THE SIGNIFICANCE OF JANE EYRE'S RELATIONSHIP WITH HELEN BURNS

    The audiences are able to speculate at many elements that Jane Eyre does not yet know of. One of the main examples of this is the way in which Charlotte Bronte steers her readers so that they are made aware of and prepared for Helen's death.

  1. Jane Eyre Coursework - How do Jane's experiences at Lowood contribute to her development?

    Mr Brocklehurst uses religion to gain power and to control others; Helen gravely trusts her own faith and turns the other cheek to Lowood's harsh policies. Mr Brocklehurst is not liked in the school and publicly humiliates Jane after three weeks of her having been there.

  2. What is your opinion of Mr. Brocklehurst?

    While Helen is with Miss Temple "her soul sat on her lips, and language flowed, from what source I cannot tell." This metaphor shows the inner goodness and warmth of Helen Burns. Miss Temple later publicly exonerates Jane, who then flourishes in this new environment; "I would not now have

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

    Victorian times and so, the actual end of Rebecca is more conventional than that of Jane Eyre's ending since it actually refers to the couple whereas Jane Eyre does not. In conclusion, I have found that the male characters in both Jane Eyre and Rebecca do conform to the conventions of the romance genre in most ways.

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

    The word 'sliding' suggests cautious and creepy movement. By knowing the beast is moving towards the house and getting 'nearer' it is a warning that the beast is coming closer and that it will not stop. By the chains being on the creature it implies to the reader that it is big and dangerous to be held by such force.

  1. Compare how Charlotte Bronte presents Jane Eyres oppression and her ability to overcome it ...

    Jane is extremely scared of John's physical power and 'every nerve' she has 'feared him'. She tells the reader how she was 'dreading the blow' moments before he hit her to emphasise the extent to which he terrorizes her. At Lowood the physical abuse derives from the harsh conditions within the school.

  2. Describe the changes that took place in Jane Eyre's life when she moved from ...

    I think it was a very confident and brave thing Jane did and she is to be admired! Miss Temple one of the teachers at Lowood was very welcoming towards Jane and made her feel quite secure and not so lonely, there was still a little insecurity Jane felt as it was all still quite mysterious!

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