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Explore how Jane Eyre is presented in the novel of the same character name. What would the original readers have thought of her?

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Introduction

Explore how Jane Eyre is presented in the novel of the same character name. What would the original readers have thought of her? I am going to explore how the character of Jane Eyre develops throughout the story and how charlotte Bronte shows the development of Jane's persona from her time at Lowood as a sad and lonely child to when she is a happy grown woman living at Thornfield. As a child at Gateshead and Lowood she always spoke her mind. When she was about to leave Gateshead she told her aunt Reed what she felt about her. Jane says "I am not deceitful; if I were, I should say I loved you; but I declare I do not love you: I dislike you the worst of anybody in the world except John Reed." later on, she says to Mrs Reed, "I am glad you are no relation of mine." In those days children did not say anything like that. They would not answer back. Even if they did hate their carers they would hold their tongues and not say anything for fear of being beaten or worse. While she was living at Gateshead she felt inferior to the other children. Charlotte Bronte describes this in the novel when John, Eliza and Georgiana are clustered around their mamma by the fire in the drawing room but Jane is not allowed to go near them. ...read more.

Middle

She still has a strong sense of right and wrong but she may not act on this as much or as severely as she would of when she was young. She refused to marry Edward Rochester once she had found out he was still married. Jane would not have trusted him anymore and if she could not trust him, how could she love him? She has also learnt to control her temper even though she might be extremely angry. Jane still speaks her mind to a certain extent. She became very religious since Helen Burns had died. She falls in love with Mr Rochester but does not know how to act on it, as she has not experienced love before. She does not know how to act around him. She acts how she has been taught, not what her heart says. However, she does learn how to act around Edward as she falls more in love with him. Jane gets more and more adventurous as time goes by. Whilst she was living at Thornfield, she chose to walk across a few fields in the dark on her own and they did not have torches in Victorian times. She also tries to find out what is going on in the attic. When Mr Mason got stabbed, Rochester asked Jane if she turned sick at the sight of blood and she replied, "I think I shall not: I have never been tried yet." ...read more.

Conclusion

Most girls would have done though because it would seem the right thing to do in society and also in the eyes of God. Today's society is like Jane in this matter as we would marry for love and not labour. Additionally, we have not got the pressure of God; that if we did marry him it would be seen as serving the Lord. Furthermore, if we were Jane, we would not marry him as he is Jane's cousin and it is not right. Back then though, it seems as though it did not matter if you were related. Many of the people who read Jane Eyre when it was first written in the middle of the nineteenth century would have been surprised and shocked that a girl would have behaved and talked the way Charlotte Bronte portrays Jane. However, I am sure there were many young women who felt restricted but could not escape their lives. By reading the book they might have wished they were like her in many ways but would not dare do anything about it. When they read the book it might have been their way of escaping. We still enjoy reading the novel today because Jane has some of the views we have today so we can relate to this and we also learn what it was like in the nineteenth century. We discover other people's reactions and views to Jane's ways so we get to see what it would be like with our views and beliefs in the nineteenth century. Nicola Townend 1 ...read more.

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