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How are suffering and injustice presented in the openingchapters of

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Introduction

How are suffering and injustice presented in the opening chapters of Charlotte Bront�'s Jane Eyre? At the time the novel Jane Eyre was written, it was very difficult for women writers to have their books published. Charlotte Bront� was very aware of the problem, and cleverly changed her name to Currer Bell so the book would be accepted. Luckily for Charlotte, her novel Jane Eyre was published in October 1847, and since writing this novel, Charlotte Bront� has become very popular, and a classic author. The Victorian era was a time of great social division between the rich and the poor, and this is shown in the novel by the description of certain characters for example Bessie - the poorer class, and Mrs. Reed - the richer class. The poorer classes and working classes were made to work in very dangerous conditions and were paid very little. In contrast, many of the upper classes did not have to work, and some of them employed the poor to work for them. Many of the poorer families lived cramped together in very small houses, where as the rich lived in huge, very comfortable homes. This background of injustice is made clear in the book, as Charlotte Bront� wanted to highlight what life was like for Jane Eyre, the Reed family and servants like her character Bessie who worked in the wealthy house in Victorian times. Charlotte Bront� seems as though she feels quite strongly about these issues - both of Charlotte's elder sisters died in 1825 in circumstances that have great importance for the story Jane Eyre - and is trying to convey to the readers of her book the many injustices and extremes in Victorian society. Charlotte Bront� wrote the book Jane Eyre in first person narrative so we can feel Jane's outmost thoughts, opinions and emotions. It can bring us closer to the characters, and enables us to empathise for them, just as if you were able to enter inside the narrator's head. ...read more.

Middle

Georgiana is described as being "universally indulged", even though she has a "spoiled temper". John, who "twisted the necks of the pigeons and killed the little pea-chicks," is described as being "much less punished." The three children of the Reed family are never punished for doing wrong, where as when Jane says one word out of line, she is banished to a room and locked in there, even though the Reed children misbehave in a more meaning full way. The readers are made to feel sorry for Jane, and her suffering evokes our sympathy because we ourselves would never want to be treated the way Jane is. It is the readers, therefore that want to offer Jane the love and happiness that she one day dreams for. Charlotte Bront� uses detailed descriptions of the setting and atmosphere to create a sense of suffering and to evoke our sympathy for Jane, while in the Red Room. The Red Room is the room in Gateshead Hall, in which Mrs. Reed's husband passed away. His ghost is believed to be living in there, but nobody has actually ever seen it. Charlotte Bront� has made the Red Room sound very gothic like, and when you read about it, it is as if it comes from a gothic novel, which were very popular in the Victorian era. This aspect adds excitement and an eerie effect to the novel. Many of the descriptive words that Charlotte Bront� has used are very ghostly like, and make the Red Room sound very dark, haunted and scary. For example, "a bed supported on massive pillars of mahogany, hung with curtains of deep red damask." The deep red damask colour of the curtains are meant to represent blood and the massive pillars of mahogany, sound like dark figures towering over you. Charlotte Bront� uses a lot of pathetic fallacy in this section of the book, to describe Jane's feelings and emotions, when she has been locked in the Red Room by Mrs. ...read more.

Conclusion

If Mrs. Reed had not sent Jane Eyre to Lowood School, who knows what would have happened to her. It is a totally different environment, than that of Gateshead Hall, and Jane is much happier here. As well as obtaining an education, she has made friends although one of them is not around for very long. At Lowood School, Jane receives independence and freedom, and her life eventually starts to brighten up. In my mind, Jane has been saved, and if she had not become a pupil at Lowood, the story of Jane Eyre, would have a very different ending. The Jane Eyre that I met at the beginning of the novel, was an arrogant and aggressive little girl. I have read through the story of her life, and she has now become a trustworthy, sensible, grown-up human being. She has had many traumas in her childhood, all of which have made her out to be confident and independent. She would not have managed without her determination, as she has had many important decisions to make some being successful and others not so. I really like the character of Jane Eyre, and if she had been the slightest bit different I would not have this opinion of her. At parts she has made me laugh, and other parts brought a tear to my eye. I feel for her, as she does not have any family, and because of this has suffered greatly. From the way Charlotte has evoked Jane's feelings, the reader is able to understand what it is like, and the emotions you feel. Jane Eyre is a very determined ten-year-old girl with a great personality, and Charlotte Bront� could not have used a better character on which to base the novel. She is definitely my favourite character in the book, mainly because of her determination and pride. The book of Jane Eyre has many life changing decisions, and I have sometimes wondered if it was me that had to make those choices, whether they would have been as successful as they were for Jane. Francesca Jones L5N English Coursework ...read more.

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