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How does Bront create Interest, and make the reader keen to read on, in the Opening Two Chapters of Jane Eyre'?

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How does Bront� create Interest, and make the reader keen to read on, in the Opening Two Chapters of 'Jane Eyre'? 'Jane Eyre' was published in 1847 by Charlotte Bront� at a time when women writers were rare and were not openly looked upon by the community. But Bront� had always had a love of writing, as did her sisters. Bront�, in my opinion, uses many techniques to create interest and help hook the reader into the story; for example, the development of the narrator (Jane) and how the reader cares for her with the desperate and dismal position she so unfortunately holds in the Reed household. But first, how do we get to know Jane so well? Firstly; the story is told in first person by Jane Eyre herself. First person has both advantages and disadvantages. For example, a disadvantage is that you may not get to truly understand other characters' feelings and thoughts - whilst in 3rd Person you get a wider range of characters opinions. However, first person means you can read the thoughts and feelings of the narrator in great depth and detail - this is the main reason we know Jane so well and feel so much sympathy and compassion for her. This depth achieved from first person is a huge aspect of the novel as the development of Jane, through this 1st person, is a big contributor to the interest of the reader. ...read more.


This opening chapter not only sets up this dismal atmosphere but also two of the primary themes in the novel: class conflict and gender difference. As a poor orphan living with relatives, Jane feels separated from the rest of the Reed family, and they certainly do nothing to make her feel more comfortable: "you are a dependant" and "you ought...not to live here with gentleman's children like us". Jane appears to exist in a limbo between the upper and servant classes. Her class difference translates into physical violence in John's mind, and Jane knows that she is "physically inferior" to her vicious bully of a cousin. Jane's argument with John also points to the potential gender conflicts within the text. Not only is Jane at a disadvantage because of her class status, but her position as female leaves her vulnerable. John is a malicious cousin, described by Jane as "unwholesome" and "thick". I believe all Jane wishes for is an individual place for herself, free of the horrible treatment she gets in the House. By fighting back when John and his mother torment her, Jane refuses the obedience that was expected for a woman in her class position at that time. A further theme displayed in these opening chapters is oppression. Jane is picked on right from the first page of this novel, sent off while her cousins play: 'Be seated somewhere... ...read more.


Well, Jane Eyre does have aspects to suggest good structure in these opening chapters. For example; note how chapter one leads onto chapter two. Chapter one ends on 'take her to the red-room'. This is used as a cliff-hanger by Bront�; the reader wants to know what this 'red-room' is. What is it? Where is it? Chapter two also ends like this, with 'unconsciousness closing the scene'. Once again this makes the reader ask questions. All of these things help improve cohesion, structure and make the reader want to read on to find out more. To conclude; Jane uses many, many techniques to create interest, and make the reader keen to read on, in the opening two chapters of 'Jane Eyre' but personally I believe the main factor which hooks the reader into the story, that makes the reader crave to read on into this novel is the emotional attachment the reader develops with Jane. All of the techniques used in these opening chapters relate back to this one. The sheer feeling of care and compassion for Jane mixed in with hatred of John Reed and others made these opening chapters a truly thrilling read. I personally felt I needed to read on to see mainly if Jane did get the better over John in the end - I, as I'm sure you do, certainly hope she does. ?? ?? ?? ?? Alex Taylor | Year 10 Set A1 GCSE English Assignment: Prose Study 1 | Page November 2008 ...read more.

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