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Jane Eyre - compare the first two chapters

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Introduction

JANE EYRE COURSEWORK The novel 'Jane Eyre' is an emotional journey through the often turbulent and isolated life of Jane Eyre. The eponymous character Jane Eyre starts her life parentless, left in the care of her careless aunt and the company of her cruel cousins. She escapes to school (Lowood) where she flourishes and eventually goes to work as a governess. She subsequently falls in love with the owner of the estate where she is governess, Mr Rochester, before discovering that his mad wife lives in the attic. After turning down St.John Rivers' proposal of marriage she returns to Mr Rochester and, after finding out his wife has died in a fire, marries him. We first meet Jane Eyre in a window-seat of her aunt's house, attempting to escape her worries by reading. Her aunt has separated her from the rest of the family for reasons including not being, "attractive and sprightly" in manner Her situation at Gateshead Hall appears to consist of isolation and loneliness. Her aunt despises her, consequently so do her cousins. John Reed, her only male cousin, regularly beats her for no particular reason and Jane says of him; "I trembled at the idea of being dragged forth by the said Jack" and John had "an antipathy to me". Mrs Reed and the servants ignore his behaviour and act as if they are ignorant of it. ...read more.

Middle

She also rejects St John's view of religion, the harsh and "ruthlessly moral" approach which allows no room for human compassion. She is also aware that Mr Rochester would have manipulated moral standards to get his own desires. The best examples of morality Jane comes across in her life are the selfless examples of Helen Burns and Miss Temple. Bronte's concerns are easily conveyed to the reader in the first two chapters of the novel, and Bronte quickly and easily creates sympathy for Jane by setting a miserable scene, using emotive language and structuring events effectively. Jane connects with the reader, telling them about her day and life. Her defiant and courageous nature endears her to the reader, because despite her inferior treatment she is strong. Jane becomes a favourable character that the reader respects and sympathises with. Sympathy is evoked firstly by Jane telling her own story by talking directly to the reader, making it more personal, for example; "I never liked long walks", "stay till he comes reader" and "you shall share the confidence". This means the reader sees how events affect Jane because she describes them in detail, in the first person, resulting in the reader being interested in Jane's story and picturing it easily; "why was I always suffering?". But Bronte does not rely on the young Jane's whining. ...read more.

Conclusion

This consequently leaves the reader felling sympathy for Jane, and yet knowing, due to her strength of character and realisation that she is not a bad person, that she will survive to become an independent young women who can stand up for herself and not be trodden on. To sum up, the various ways Bronte creates sympathy for Jane is to establish clearly an in detail the different scenes, and use them to reflect the mood of that scene. For example, the red-room is eerie and shows Jane's fear. Jane is described in a manner that makes her individual. She is described negatively by Mrs Reed, and not well by herself, evoking sympathy even more, because she is not portrayed as a beautiful, perfect character. The chapters are structured so that Jane and her family are introduced clearly, and the roles and the type of person they are is understood well. The second chapter moves on and goes into more detail about Jane's character ad her feelings. The social context helps the reader to respond to what is written, because it explains, to a certain extent, why the characters are like they are. For example, John Reed is called Jane's "young master" because at that time me were superior to women. Jane is shown to be the only favourable character in the first two chapters, with the others shown to be cruel or cold or oppressive, meaning sympathy is easily evoked for Jane. ...read more.

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