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"Jane Eyre" by Charlotte Bronte - review

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Introduction

"Jane Eyre" by Charlotte Bronte "Jane Eyre" was written by Charlotte Bronte in Victorian England. The novel was published in 1847, under the male name of Currer Bell. Bronte was forced to take a male name to be taken seriously as a professional author. This gives us an idea of the position of women in the past and relates to "Jane Eyre" in which Jane, the protagonist has to struggle through life. Her life is made difficult because of the fact that she s a female but also because she is a poor orphan living in a rich house, where even the servants look down on her. A persons social status was of massive importance back then and Bronte expresses this in the novel. Another example is that Jane's only job is a governess, which is a hard job to find and was low paid. Many women faced problems like these as they were seen as inferior to men Unless women were wealthy they would have a struggle to find work as there were only few jobs that women could do. Bronte wants the reader to sympathise with Jane from the start of the novel. We know this because of the first person narrative, which makes us engage with the character. ...read more.

Middle

The lower class had no rights compared to higher class. Although Jane lives in an extremely wealthy household she is treated as thought she is lower than lower class, Mrs Reed especially likes to make Jane feel like this. Mrs Reed only looks after Jane for her dead husband; she despises her and favours her own children. "She really must exclude me from privileges only intended for content, happy little children." This shows us that Mrs Reed has probably told Jane that she is a bad child all her life and she is now unsure about how to b good. Even though Jane is good and obedient and always has been she is very unhappy due to her poor treatment. John Reed; Jane's cousin bullies her repeatedly and he is never punished for acting violently. Whereas when Jane finally retaliates and stands up to his torment she is sent straight to the "Red room" where her uncle "breathed his last". "Take her to the red room and lock her away in there" These words show Mrs Reeds cruelty - she knows she will be terrified in there so she insisted on punishing her so she uses the opportunity to terrify her. ...read more.

Conclusion

Jane describes the Reed family to instantly turn us against them and further our relationship with Jane. John Reed is targeted especially, Jane describes him as "large and stout...unwholesome...flabby cheeks..." his ugly appearance reflects hid evil nature. Jane obviously has no positive thoughts for him, which influences our perspective of him. We are also turned against Mrs. Reed when Jane describes how she treats her so badly compared to her own children, "...and with her darlings about her...me, she had dispensed from joining the group..." Her sarcastic tone shows her independence. Because Jane is speaking in first person we take her side and therefore we dislike Mrs. Reed. Jane's first words in the novel are, "what does Bessie say I have done?" we straight away have the idea of what kind of character she is, strong and rebellious as she firstly answers back to an adults and secondly implies Bessie is lying. This behaviour was unheard of in the Victorian era and Mrs. Reed would not let her get away with it. ""Be seated somewhere; and remain silent." Due to the authors manipulation of our perspective we feel sympathetic towards Jane, if Mrs. Reed was the protagonist in this novel it is likely that we would be supportive of her actions and dislike Jane as we do Mrs. Reed. ...read more.

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