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Examine how Charlotte Bronte portrays John Reed, Mrs Reed and Mr Brocklehurst in Jane Eyre - How do these characters affect your early impression of Jane?

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Introduction

Examine how Charlotte Bronte portrays John Reed, Mrs Reed and Mr Brocklehurst in Jane Eyre. How do these characters affect your early impression of Jane? Charlotte Bronte was a female writer in the 19th century. She was born in 1816 and suffered the loss of her Mother at the age of 5. She was then moved to a Yorkshire parsonage, and shared a close relationship with her siblings. During their time at the parsonage, they created a 'fantasy world' using nothing but toy soldiers and their imagination. This shows that they were obviously socially deprived, forcing them to socialise via their imaginary characters. One could assume that Charlotte's deprived childhood might have contributed to the way in which she portrayed characters in her novels, and the genre. As regards to the question above, Jane's character is defined by the meeting of 3 characters; John Reed, Mrs Reed and Mr Brocklehurst. ...read more.

Middle

Finally, Jane's encounter with John allows us to see that she is a bright, quick-witted character. We know this as she will often relish on John's stupidity, and use it against him to briefly take the 'dominant' role. Mrs Reed is another aspect of Jane's character. Mrs Reed allows us to again, notice the 'boldness' of her character. Mrs Reed is another resentful figure towards Jane, and is often drawn into arguments between Master Reed and Jane. Because of Mrs Reed's hostility towards Jane, she uses such arguments as a way to gang up on Jane, and intimidate her. An example of this from the text would be: "Take her away to the red-room and lock her in there" The quote above shows Mrs Reed punishing Jane/defending John, despite her not seeing what actually happened. Mrs Reed most likely feels burdened by Jane's imposing presence, or possibly even threatened; thus provoking her hostility. ...read more.

Conclusion

This causes her to be civil in Mr Brocklehurst's presence, and even surprises Mrs reed! After this, Mrs Reed and Jane meet one last time. Jane; knowing she has a new start waiting, 'launches' into Mrs Reed, attempting to provoke guilt. This is a new aspect of Jane's character - rage. This time Mrs Reed doesn't have her wits about her, and succumbs to Jane, allowing her to take the dominant role. To conclude, the three characters portray Jane as a bright child with elements of anger. We can see that Jane is obviously suffering a deprived childhood, and lacks the love and compassion offered by a true family. Because of this, Jane is left to fend for herself; causing her to mature quickly for her age, and experience strong emotions of what could possibly be described as depression. In spite of this, she is a bold, determined girl who won't let such feelings get to her. All in all Jane a mixed character. Sam Ross 07/05/07 ...read more.

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