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How does Charlotte Bronte create sympathy for Jane Eyre in the opening chapters (one and two)?

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Introduction

Prose Assignment: Jane Eyre How does Charlotte Bronte create sympathy for Jane Eyre in the opening chapters (one and two)? "Jane Eyre" is very much the story of a young girl's quest to be loved, and a search for equality in a greatly unjust reality. Throughout the opening chapters Jane shows a fire and ice persona: there are sharp contrasts between her emotions at certain points in the novel, which seem to show a state of frustration on behalf of Jane at her oppressors. At the beginning of the novel Jane shows an icy mood, in which she looks upon the world in a purely objective sense - she is indifferent to emotions and impulses; rather she is observant and just aware of the world around her. Which Charlotte Bronte shows in the weather by means of pathetic fallacy: ...the cold winter wind had brought with it clouds so sombre, and a rain so penetrating... At this point Jane is pacified reading a book, "Bewick's History of British Birds", however following abuse from John Reed she loses control of herself and her outward disposition suddenly becomes "passionate" - as Ms. Abbot eloquently describes: ...I received him in frantic sort. I don't very well know what I did with my hands, but he called out "Rat! ...read more.

Middle

and the romantic gothic scene of rain on the moors - are Gothic and seemingly predict future Gothic locales and themes in the plot. The use of Gothic components is Jane Eyre is perhaps due to the Victorian society in which Charlotte Bronte lived in. Gothicism influenced 19th century arts, poetics, architecture, and many aspects of design. This, perchance, is one reason why Bronte chose to include many Gothic constituents in the novel. Jane also states that this action was "..a new thing for me.". For the first time Jane is asserting her rights as a person, and she is further punished for this act of rebellion. Jane's efforts to gain equality in her world only seem to deepen the punishment and resentment which she receives. Although Jane seems to be quite mature for her tender age of 10/11 she still loses her rationality at times, such as her outburst at John Reed which leads to her confinement in the Red Room. This indicates to the reader that Jane will inevitably allow her situation to worsen... with foreseeable consequences: she will be sent to the "poor house". The Red Room could be symbolic for many aspects of Jane and her surroundings; not least of which fear, oppression, and isolation:- The colour red is, by itself, associated with danger and fear. ...read more.

Conclusion

Reed. As the chapter unravels however, Jane's mood changes into virulent passion against John Reed and his disciples in oppression: ...these sensations for the time predominated over fear and I received him in frantic sort. She is clearly acting on impulse, and her immaturity is shown. Since the novel is retrospective, the narration is aware of this inability to keep a purely resigned and stoical disposition. ...mysterious often to my undeveloped understanding and imperfect feelings... Her impulsive actions continue until her confinement in the red room is secured ["They went, shutting the door, and locking it behind them"]. Whereupon she seems to return to her stoical self, however she retains an emotively superstitious mood for the rest of the chapter. Superstition was with me at that moment: but it was not yet her time for complete victory. In the latter part of the second chapter Jane sees a light, at which point superstition does seem to claim victory over Jane; she calls out for help, seemingly hysterical to Ms. Abbot and Mrs. Reed. As a result she is left in her solitude, to endure fear and complete her sentence. Bessie and Abbot having retreated, Mrs. Reed, impatient of my now frantic anguish and wild sobs, abruptly thrust me back and locked me in... The scene ends with our heroin - Jane - fainting as a result of her torment: Unconsciousness closed the scene. Simon Lee Todd 10i ...read more.

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