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Explore the presentation of the relationships between adults and children in chapters 1-9 of Jane Eyre 'Jane Eyre', written in 1846 by Charlotte Bront, was first published in 1847

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Introduction

Siobhan Taylor 10N Explore the presentation of the relationships between adults and children in chapters 1-9 of Jane Eyre 'Jane Eyre', written in 1846 by Charlotte Bront�, was first published in 1847 and instantly became a success. It is quite a controversial book, covering many areas of prejudice, such as the place of women and children in society, discrimination against lower classes and mentally ill people, which were usually not dealt with at that time. The areas covered in this essay will be the relationship between children and adults, which will be affected by class consciousness. The story is told through the eyes of Jane Eyre, therefore written in first person. Jane has been orphaned and lives with her aunt and in the chapters studied her life with her aunt and family and her school life are addressed. Bront� uses many of her own experiences as a child to form the characters and places in the book, for example. Charlotte Bront� was sent to a boarding school like Lowood in 'Jane Eyre'. This allows the book to be descriptive and realistic, so we can relate with Jane as fully as possible. Jane suffers abuse from the adults in this book, being both mental and physical. There is also a lot of injustice in her life, brought about by a lack of understanding of her character. These types of abuse are not only experienced by Jane but by other children in the novel too. Physical abuse occurs at both Gateshead and Lowood in the first nine chapters. Jane's cousin John is allowed to punish Jane almost for fun. She is a dependant, meaning that she is looked after by them without paying or working for them in return, and therefore is seen as less than a servant. ...read more.

Middle

When Mr Brocklehurst comes and he asks if Jane is good child, Mrs Reed replies by saying, "Perhaps the less said on that subject the better, Mr Brocklehurst." Before he even has time to find out about Jane for himself, she is already putting her down and turning him against her. After he leaves and Jane reveals her true feelings living at Gateshead, Mrs Reed becomes worried because she does not want Jane to repeat this to anyone so she changes her attitude towards her, saying, "Is there anything else you wish for, Jane? I assure you, I desire to be your friend." Jane either sees through this or is just so angry at Mrs Reed that she cannot see how she could change. In any case, she does not fall for this and her hatred for Mrs Reed remains. Mrs Reed knows that Jane is a superstitious person, which makes her punishment of being locked in the Red Room even more terrible. Mr Reed died nine years earlier in that room, and since Jane is afraid of ghosts and other supernatural things, she is terrified. At first anger does not allow her to fear, as she can only think of the difference between Mrs Reed's treatment of her compared to Georgiana, Eliza and John: "Eliza, who was headstrong and selfish, was respected. Georgiana, who had a spoiled temper, a very acid spirit, a captious and insolent carriage, was universally indulged...John no one thwarted, much less punished..." After thinking of her life though she begins to think about the room that she is in and what could happen to her in there, saying, "and then my courage sank." ...read more.

Conclusion

When Jane mentions her to Helen 'a soft smile flitted over her grave face'. Miss Temple gives Jane and Helen cake when they visit her in her office. She worries about the girls: "I meant to give each of you some of this to take with you...but as there is so little toast, you must have it now." The toast has been sent up but there was not enough for three. The servants says that the usual amount has been brought up, showing us that Mr Brocklehurst's strict rules extend even to the teachers. Miss Temple, however, decides not to argue. When Mr Brocklehurst comes and tells Jane off for breaking her slate Miss Temple whispers, "Don't be afraid, Jane, I saw it was an accident; you shall not be punished." These words are all that Jane needs to help her through, not just because she will not be punished but also because somebody cares for her, something that has rarely happened to her before. To conclude, I saw that there were many different types of relationships presented in Jane Eyre. The time that the book is set, and the situation that the characters are in contribute towards these relationships. Mrs Reed, the servants, Georgiana and Eliza treat Jane unfairly because she is a dependant who does not even work to stay at the house. Mr Brocklehurst wants power and cannot let the free will of children stand in his way. Miss Temple genuinely wants to help children and is not afraid to show it. John just wants someone to torment to add to his sense of power. The children affected by these feelings are only thought of by Miss Temple, and no one else seems to care what they are going through. ...read more.

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