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How Does Bronte Convey Jane Eyre's State of Mind in Chapter 2 of 'Jane Eyre'?

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Introduction

How Does Bronte Convey Jane Eyre's State of Mind in Chapter 2 of 'Jane Eyre'? 'I was a discord in Gateshead Hall'. The story of Jane Eyre tells of how a young girl struggles against the rigid social hierarchy to become an independent example of how a single person can change people's views. In the Victorian era, when the novel was set, the rights of married women were similar to those of children: they could not vote, sue, or own property. Their role was to have children and tend to the house, and the only acceptable job a woman could have was a teacher or a domestic servant. In the end, they were to be treated as saints, but saints that had no legal rights. As a child, Jane lives with her aunt and cousins at Gateshead Hall, where she feels mistreated and that she had 'nothing in harmony' with the family. She uses an extended musical metaphor of 'discord' and 'nothing in harmony' to show that she feels incongruous. Jane's state of mind changes dramatically throughout chapter 2 of 'Jane Eyre'. Bronte uses a number of techniques to show this, including a narrative voice, imagery and symbolism, mood and atmosphere and the language. ...read more.

Middle

'My blood was still warm' gives the impression that her blood had boiled, a saying to describe the feeling of ire, and was still warm: she hadn't forgotten the mistreatment she had received. It could also be taken to mean that her spirit wasn't dead yet and she was still alive. The proceeding state of mind is self-doubt and depression. The switch between anger and self-doubt is surprisingly sudden as Jane starts a sentence with '"Unjust! - unjust!"', the punctuation marks presenting the passion, and concludes by considering starving herself to death as she says '...letting myself die'. The suicidal contemplation is exaggeration of her state of mind of depression. She talks of 'escape', showing she wants to be free, like from a prison, because she feels suppressed. The element of self-doubt is evident simultaneously. She begins to perceive herself as the 'naughty and tiresome, sullen and sneaky' child she is constantly told that she is. Her reflection in a mirror she describes as 'half fairy, half imp'. Whilst the fairy is the innocent personality she thought she was, the imp represents the mischievous disposition she now believes she has acquired. Jane collaborates this theory herself, as she says 'All said I was wicked, and perhaps I might be so'. ...read more.

Conclusion

When Jane cries out because she is scared, and the door to the room is opened, her aunt ordered for her to be placed back into the room. To this, Jane replies '"O aunt! have pity! Forgive me! I cannot endure it"'. She begs her aunt, which is the final form of desperation. Usually being quite a strong person, this is reasonably out of character as she asks for forgiveness for her behaviour which was possibly unintentionally hateful to begin with. The finale of the chapter present itself when Jane frightens herself to the extent at which, she faints. This shows Jane's vulnerability because she had such a dramatic effect to her own imagination. In conclusion, Bronte uses many techniques to convey Jane Eyre's state of mind during the chapter. The switches between the moods are often sudden, but the language, punctuation and sentence structures define the end of one and beginning of another. The use of symbolism and imagery allows the reader to experience events with the character in order to be portrayed Jane's mentality more easily. Vivid descriptions of her surroundings create atmosphere and use pathetic fallacy to show Jane's thoughts and feelings. Through this, the reader can perceive that Jane is host to a complexity of emotions, introducing realism to the narrative, and therefore bonding character with reader. By Alex Jones 10bs ...read more.

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