• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

How does Charlotte Bronte create sympathy for Jane in the first two chapters of the novel?

Extracts from this document...


How does Charlotte Bronte create sympathy for Jane in the first two chapters of the novel? Charlotte Bronte's novel Jane Eyre (1848) is a story is about a ten year old orphan girl called Jane Eyre. Her circumstances are as follows; when both of her parents died within a year of her birth, leaving her into the care of her Aunt, Mrs Reed. Mrs Reed is a widow of Jane's uncle, who broke her promise to late husband by mistreating Jane cruelly. Then Jane is also bullied by here three cousins, especially 14-year-old John. She is also regarded as "less then a servant" (chapter 2). Bronte creates sympathy for Jane in the first two chapters of the novel in various ways. These include, the settings she creates, the language she uses to describe Jane, the way the chapters are structured and understanding of the social context of the time. In 'Jane Eyre' Charlotte Bronte bases her plot on the Gothic Genre making the novel dark and mysterious with hints of supernatural elements. Charlotte Bronte first makes you sympathise with Jane through the settings she creates. The novel opens with striking contrast between the bleakness and chill of the winter world outside and the cosy intimacy of a family, sitting comfortably around a fire in the drawing room of Gateshead. In the opening sentence, the writer makes us feel the sympathy for Jane by saying, " There was no possibility of taking a walk that day". ...read more.


To Jane, it seems unearthly, "like one of the tiny phantoms, half fairy, half imp". She becomes convinced that the room is haunted and screams for help. Charlotte Bronte interpretation of the 'Red Room' relates to the colour associations with anger. The Readers are drawn into sympathy for Jane character who at the age of ten is meted out such a harsh punishment and being locked in the Red Room and the servants are sympathetic towards Jane. Then once again upon Mrs Reed's orders Jane is bodily thrust into the room and door locked behind her. Charlotte Bronte creates sympathy for Jane through the language she uses to describe Jane herself. Jane is continually abused by her aunt, cousins John, Georgina and Eliza and servants. Her relationship with them is abusive one. Her aunt is very rude to her as ask her to go away "Be seated somewhere" as she does not want her to go near them. This also shows us that her aunt does not want her to be in the family circle because she does not like her behaviour or personality. Jane is also abused by her cousins John, both physically and verbally. We can see how he bullies her and calls her names such as "you rat!" . John than throws a book at her and she falls cutting her head open, " the volume was flung...hit me... ...read more.


Then came the children who were looked after by their nannies followed by the servants, who were the lowest in the Victorian household. However, in this household the father of the Reed family (Mr Reed - Jane's Uncle) is deceased, therefore Mrs Reed (Jane's Aunt) becomes the head of the household. The 'typical' family structure is disturbed as the father is removed, and Mrs Reed becomes the head of the household. As Jane is an orphan, she is not part of the family and is treated 'less than a servant' (chapter 2). We feel sympathy for Jane, as she is being treated 'less than a servant', who were the lowest in the Victorian household. Moreover Mrs Reed abuses Jane as she is outspoken and plain as opposed to her own children who she regards as her "precious little darlings", whom she believes are well behaved and pretty. We feel empathy for Jane here, as we know that she is bullied by her cousins, particularly John Reed who describes her as "You rat!" (chapter 2). Mrs Reed also shows no sympathy for Jane when she screams of terror in the red room, and orders that Jane "should be left in the red room till further notice" (chapter 2). The whole two chapters are very sympathetic towards Jane Eyre and the reader cannot help, show commiseration for Jane, who is badly mistreated by the Reed household. Overall, Charlotte Bronte creates sympathy for Jane Eyre through the settings she creates, the language used to describe Jane ad a young orphan girl, how the chapters are structured and through social context of the time. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Charlotte Bronte section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Charlotte Bronte essays

  1. How does Charlotte Bronte create sympathy for Jane Eyre in the first 2 chapters ...

    She also says that Jane's uncle had 'breathed his last' in this room and that it is avoided by the grown ups as it is believed to be haunted. Jane is only a young girl and she is very scared, this helps to create sympathy for her as the audience

  2. Analyse the methods Charlotte Bronte uses to make the reader empathise with Jane Eyre ...

    makes the reader believe that she is locked away from happiness and isn't allowed to be happy. Also, near the beginning of chapter 2, it says 'they went shutting the door and locking it behind them' shows the reader that she feels like a prisoner, and again excluded from the family.

  1. Bront portrays Jane Eyre as an untypical heroine. Examine Bront's language use, structure and ...

    Ironically, the deprivation leads only to an outbreak of disease, which kills many of the school's pupils. It is interesting to note that after the typhus epidemic, Mr Brocklehurst was 'discharged from his duties'. I think that Bront� is trying to set a precedent for her contemporaries by punishing the

  2. Jane Eyre’ by Charlotte Bronte and ‘Rebecca’ by Daphne Du Maurier

    The author tends to repeat phrases, possibly to place emphasis on these descriptions and they are usually quite dark, for example repeating the words 'cold' and 'lifeless' when referring to Mrs Danvers. More phrases that are used to describe her character that also emphasise her darkness, and mystery, 'dark and sombre', 'dull and toneless' and 'harsh'.

  1. Free essay

    With special reference to the first nine chapters of Jane Eyre (Gateshead and Lowood) ...

    Jane describes herself as 'heterogeneous' - this means a different kind (coming from the Greek: 'heteros' meaning different and 'genos' meaning kind) she has obviously had it drummed into her that she is a bad person and different to the Reed family.

  2. By Looking Closely At The Central Relationship, Consider To What Extent Jane Eyre and ...

    that a couple have 'equality of position and fortune' as is expected of the societies in both novels however more so in the Victorian society of Jane Eyre, where the differences in social class of the characters are more emphasized.

  1. Jane Eyre's character through chapters 1-4.

    It appears that Bessie's evening stories had planted ideas into her mind. Later on, it becomes evident how scared she is when we read: "my mind was for horror, shaken as my nerves were by agitation, I thought the swift-darting beam was a herald of some coming vision from another world.

  2. How does Bronte show the reader Jane's resilience to events that occur in the ...

    Jane deals with St John's proposal cleverly, offering to go with him as a helper rather than a wife, knowing that this would not suit St John. Jane uses strong words to get her point across. For example: "My dear cousin, abandon your scheme of marriage - forget it" This

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work