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How does Bronte arouse sympathy for Jane Eyre in the first chapter of the novel?

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Introduction

How does Bronte arouse sympathy for Jane Eyre in the first chapter of the novel? This essay is about the novel Jane Eyre, written by Charlotte Bronte. I am going to explain how Bronte makes the reader feel sympathy towards Jane using several different methods. The novel Jane Eyre follows Jane's life from when she is a little girl through her unhappy childhood and into adult life. It is written through the eyes of Jane and informs us of her every emotion and exactly what is happening in immense detail. Chapter one of Jane Eyre The first chapter opens with the line 'There was no possibility of a walk that day.' This immediately draws our attention. We wonder why there is no possibility of a walk and want to read on and discover the reason. We presume that Jane goes on walks and that something might be wrong or because she cannot go on one today. It then goes on to say that they 'had been wandering' in the morning and still we wonder why she could go in the morning and not now. ...read more.

Middle

Jane is excluded from the group. As soon as Mrs Reed talks we know that she is mean, the way she snaps and favours her children to Jane. The whole family is described as bullying and we automatically feel for Jane, as she has to live with them and behave carefully to avoid further disfavour. Jane lives along with her cousins - Eliza, Georgiana and John Reed. Eliza and Georgiana are described as not being as horrible as John. He is 'a schoolboy of fourteen years old; four years older than I, for I was ten' so we recognize the fact that he is older than her and could pick on her if he wants. We then find out what he looks like 'large and stout for his age, with a dingy and unwholesome skin; thick ligaments in a spacious visage, heavy limbs and large extremities. He gorged himself habitually at the table, which made him bilious, and gave him a dim and bleared eye and flabby cheeks.' From this striking description he doesn't sound appealing to look at, he is fat and it is obvious that he is spoilt with food and even though he is ugly, his mother still considers him beautiful. ...read more.

Conclusion

She is left out and wants to hide or get away from her troubles so sits inconspicuously in the window, the billowing curtain acts like a huge blanket to shield her from her worries. Bronte describes everything so clearly we get a perfect picture in our mind, which helps us become more involved and realise that she is very intelligent and a strong character. She needs to be clever to get on in her household; she needs to be able to stick up for herself. She is fully aware that she is not as important in the household as her cousins; she is a poor relation with no one close enough to call 'family'. As we read on we realise just how miserable her life is and with the detailed description we can imagine how uncomfortable her situation is. We feel sympathy as she tries to fit in but does not succeed because everyone has already formed his or her opinion of her and she cannot change that. She is only ten years old and we are impressed by her maturity of thought and behaviour. ?? ?? ?? ?? ...read more.

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