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How does Jane's character differ from the other women in the novel?

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Introduction

How does Jane's character differ from the other women in the novel? Jane's temperament is strong and unique and she share's very few qualities with any of the other women in the novel. This is because, as a central character, Jane has to stand out and be individual. The other women in the novel are used to accentuate the qualities Jane has and enable comparison as well as helping to develop Jane's character. The beginning of the novel is set at Gateshead, where Jane spends the early years of her childhood. The cruelty Jane suffers at Gateshead, because of Aunt Reed and her cousin John, is what she struggles to overcome throughout the novel. Aunt Reed is a fairly simple character who only features occasionally in the novel, but whose cruelty is constantly referred to as having scared Jane. Aunt Reed is portrayed as being cruel, manipulative and "hard-hearted." She takes advantage of her power over Jane and treats her with "miserable cruelty". Jane has a more caring nature than Mrs Reed, from whom she seeks only love. Jane is not malicious like her aunt and the only qualities they share are their strong willed principles and feminist attitude towards many circumstances. ...read more.

Middle

Mrs Fairfax and Jane don't really share that many qualities. Their social class is similar and "the equality between her" and Jane "was real," but Jane is intelligent and much more of a dreamer. Mrs Fairfax is simple, "affable and kind," she is content with what she has, Jane seeks more. Mrs Fairfax also plays the condescending mother role, as Jane and Mr Rochester's feelings develop. She can be very judgemental but the fact that her views have such a significant impact on Jane, shows just how much her opinion matters and Jane does care, not just about Mrs Fairfax but also her self image. Adele provides a good comparison to Jane's childhood and shows the difference social class can have. Adele has a higher social class than Jane even though she is a child. However, despite the fact that Adele is "spoilt and indulged" and Jane was not, the two are quite similar, both are parentless and have to settle for substitute mothers. Jane had Bessie. Adele has Mrs Fairfax. This shows another similarity, as both of their substitute mothers were lower in social class than themselves. ...read more.

Conclusion

It creates sympathy for Jane because her happiness at Lowood was only very short lived and so she is forced to search for love elsewhere. At Thornfield Jane meets Mrs Fairfax and Adele, two women who she admires greatly. Again Jane's happiness and equality she feels with these women is all due to her situation. It is important that Jane likes these women because it reflects on the way her relationship will progress with Rochester. She is happy and content at Thornfield, with Mrs Fairfax, Adele and Mr Rochester, although this is again to be jeopardised with the arrival of Blanche and the discovery of Bertha. These women highlight the problems Mr Rochester and Jane face in social class, wealth and relations. Marsh End is the conclusion to the story and the women Jane meets there are both kind, caring and equal to Jane. These women prove that Jane's struggle throughout the novel was not in vain as she is rewarded with friends, family and independence. Jane's experiences at Marsh End prove that she has overcome the hardship she began her life with at Gateshead and she is finally able to marry Rochester, knowing that she has all the things she needs to be happy and contented, independence, money, family friends and equality. English Coursework 27/01/02 Jessica Roach 11A ...read more.

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