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'Jane Eyre' by Charlotte Bronte - review

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Nikki Sadler Year 11- Wider reading 'Jane Eyre' by Charlotte Bronte This book is by Charlotte Bronte, who has in some ways connected this book to her own life which will be identified in this essay. The story is written as though Jane is an adult that is looking back on her life and experiences as a ten year old child. At ten years old Jane is an interesting child, she argues for what she believes and is very intelligent and special, and all of which she is not regarded by the Reed family. The main point put across is that she does not think or act as what was expected by a 19th century child. This is how in some ways the character Jane and her life mirror's Charlotte Bronte's life. The way the novel opens on a 'dreary November afternoon' indicates that the place the story is based is gloomy and dark. The opening paragraph introduces the Reed family after the word 'wealthy', signifying immediate importance compared to Jane when she is introduced as 'a young girl', separate from the Reed family. This immediately shows how she is outcast from the family. Charlotte Bronte introduces Jane in second person, but then becomes Jane when explaining how she is 'dispensed from the group'. Using second person set the scene before becoming Jane. ...read more.


Jane sees school as a new life where she can escape from Gateshead Hall and the Reeds. In Chapter four Jane exiled from the family to her nursery. She has become a prisoner since her incident with John. Jane has become even more inferior and is constantly ignored. "Mrs. Reed surveyed me at times with a severe eye, but seldom addressed me: since my illness, she had drawn a more marked line of separation between me and her own children: appointing me a small closet to sleep in by myself, condemning me to take my meals alone, and pass all my time in the nursery, while my cousins were constantly in the drawing room." When the Reed family are in the drawing room, Jane hears them talking about her. Jane screams out by accident and an argument begins between her and Mrs. Reed in the nursery. When Jane questions what Mr. Reed would think of the way his wife is treating her, Mrs. Reed doesn't answer through guilt or pity. This causes Jane to feel additionally inferior, it's like she isn't even worth talking to. I think that after the argument Mrs. Reed decides she has had enough, so calls Mr. Brocklehurst, a man in charge of a charity school. Mr Brocklehurst is a selfish and arrogant man, a similar character to Mrs. Reed. ...read more.


This is ironic and he could learn from his lecture on self denial. Jane is later confronted by Mr Brocklehurst, she is scared so drops her slate. She is then ordered to stand before him. Jane is accused of being a liar, possessed by the 'evil one', that she is deceitful and shunted by everybody. Jane remains on the stool until 5 0'clock. She is overcome with grief, afraid that all her attempts to be good have failed. This is when her need for acceptance is reinforced. "Earn respect and win affection." At this point she wishes to die. The girls pity her rather than dislike her as she has been unjustly dealt with. Helen offers Jane advice. "Mr Brocklehurst is not a god; nor is he even a great or admired man; he is little liked here; he never took steps to make himself like. Had he treated you as an especial favourite, you would have found enemies, declared or covert, all around you; as it is, the greater number would offer you sympathy if they dared." "If all the world hated you, and believed you wicked, while your own conscience approved you, and absolved you from guilt, you would not be without friends." Jane reveals she does not want to be alone or solitary, she again feels friendship, acceptance, love and a sense of belonging are essential. Helen however tells Jane that she thinks "too much of the love of human beings." ...read more.

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