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How and why is Jane continually picked on, made the “scapegoat of the nursery” at Gateshead Hall?

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Introduction

Jane Eyre Coursework-How and why is Jane continually picked on, made the "scapegoat of the nursery" at Gateshead Hall? Does she deserve this treatment? Is she a "troublesome, careless child," or an intelligent but isolated young girl? Do you admire her, or agree with the treatment that she receives at the hands of the Reeds? In the course of this book, we see how Jane progresses through life. She grows up from being an obnoxious, odious little child to a prim and polite lady, a reincarnation of her dead Mother. After her experiences at Lowood, she is a changed person. We must question the author's motives in portraying Jane as the repressed child, condemned to a life of misery by her cruel benefactress, send to a school for orphan children run by the tyrannical Brocklehurst, who almost personifies John Reed in his words and actions. We must wonder was Jane's punishment rightfully deserved for inflicting such grievous bodily harm on John Reed, or was it a continuation of the suppression of Jane's rebellious qualities. We must ask was Jane nothing more than a rebel against the establishment, or was she a visionary of things to come in later years. ...read more.

Middle

how someone as lowly as Jane can rise from "Squalor of rottenness into the old splendour"[taken from the burning of the leaves-by Lawrence Binyon.] It is in this room that we can now see how Jane starts to reflect on the abuse that she has suffered at the hands of the Reeds. She now refers to "John Reed's violent tyrannies," "his sisters proud indifferences," "and all his Mother's aversion and the servants partiality." It can be seen now how Jane has become dejected an[B.D.1]nd despondent. She has been locked into the red-room and is suffering a refined type of mental torture. Indirectly Mrs Reed is trying to break Jane, both psychologically and mentally. She has realised the significance of the room to Jane, since it was Mr Reed who decided to foster and care for Jane. Mrs Reed hated her from the day since she move to Gateshead hall, hence her phrase, "that child did nothing but whimper and moan, not like any other child who would scream heartily." It is also in this room that Jane reflects on the brutality of John Reed, telling us how he said his Mother was "dark of the skin" and calling her, "old girl." ...read more.

Conclusion

Mrs Reed is still at pains to keep Jane as far as is humanly possible away from her, to isolate her both physically and mentally. When Mrs Reed asks, "all her holidays be spent at Lowood," she has just severed the last tie that connected her to Jane-basic human contact. Before Jane leaves, she inflicts the final blow upon Mrs Reed. It is this questioning of Mrs Reed's authority that shows up her blundering incompetence. When Jane tells Mrs Reed how she falsely called her deceitful, Mrs Reed suddenly mellows. It seems that Jane's threat of revealing to everyone at Lowood the extend of the abuse that was inflicted upon her by the Reed's has struck a nerve with Mrs Reed. She is afraid that her placing in society circles may decline and she may be rebuked for carrying out such horrendous violations of a child's rights. When Jane leaves, it is Bessie that shows her out, carries her cases and helps her to the carriage. The figure of Mrs Reed is non-existent in this world of egotistical, vanity stricken women. In conclusion, I state that Jane was a modern day feminist, opposed by the establishment, who were afraid of what she know and how it could harm them. She was truly intelligent, thoughtful and a caring individual, who was hampered by the autocracy of Victorian England, afraid to admit it's failings. [B.D.1] ...read more.

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