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Jane Eyre - How does the Chalrotte Bontre create sympathy for Jane in the first two chapters of the novel

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Introduction

How does Charlotte Bronte create sympathy for Jane Eyre in the first two chapters of the novel? The novel Jane Eyre written by Charlotte Bronte is a journey of a young orphaned girl who grows from her harsh, abused and lonely childhood into a young woman with a fulfilled and happy life. The novel traces Jane's life from her early childhood to adulthood and reflects all the good and bad trials Jane faces in her life. Bronte creates an atmosphere which allows the reader to have sympathy for Jane. The Reed family constantly emotionally and physically abuse Jane. Her aunt despises Jane and verbally abuses her which shocks the reader that at such a young age Jane is bullied by her own relatives. Jane is treated as an outsider and is never allowed to fit in with the Reed family. This is shown when Jane is describing how Mrs Reed is surrounded by ''her darlings'' and that she has dispensed Jane from joining them. This is mainly due to Jane's late father who was a poor clergyman with no money for Jane to inherit who married Jane's late mother who was a woman of a higher class who was disowned by her family due to this and therefore Jane is forced to rely on the Reed family for a home to live in. The novel is written in first person allowing us to meet Jane through her own voice narrating the story which holds a sense of reality and makes the reader feel more included and gets a full autobiographical experience conveying more powerful images. ...read more.

Middle

In chapter 2 Jane is taken to the red room where she is locked in isolation. Jane's imagination takes over her and she is convinced that the spirit of her late uncle is present which frightens her, these events are firmly rooted in gothic tradition. The setting of chapter 1 is in Gateshead Hall a large country house which portrays the wealth and high status of the family. The house consists of wealth and has many extra rooms only affordable for the rich such as a drawing room, breakfast room, numerous bedchambers even a window seat and expensive drapes. There are also bookshelves with a selection of books indicating wealth as only the rich could afford books. Overall Gateshead is a wealthy home and is full of riches that only a middle class family can afford. Jane clearly doesn't enjoy living at Gateshead as she is isolated and treated un-fairly. Despite all the wealth Jane is not entitled to any of it as John Reed constantly reminds Jane that she is not the same class ''you are an independent...you ought to beg, and not live her with gentlemen's children'' this of course causes Jane to feel uncomfortable and isolated living in Gateshead where she is neither servant nor part of the family. The description of the weather in the opening paragraph reflects Jane's mood and causes a bleak atmosphere. The weather is wet, windy and ''chilly'' which shows little signs of warmth and life. ...read more.

Conclusion

The reader sees another aspect of Jane's character as she suffers the abuse of the Reed family which surprises the reader. Jane has strength and justice and will not take abuse and describes John Reed like ''the Roman emperors!'' as he mirrors the element of a ''slave-driver.'' This allows the reader to see that Jane has the potential of achieving happiness and success and that she will dictate her own life. By the end of chapter 2 Bronte's description of Jane's distress and fear causes the reader to have increasing sympathy for Jane as she is only a child of 10 years old who is frightened when isolated in the red room which she relates to death and horror and feels haunted in. She pleads with her aunt not to lock her away again in the red room ''forgive me! I cannot endure it...''and she looses control at the thought of going back in. Her punishment is unfair and Mrs Reed treats her unjustly forcing her to return to the red room ''Silence! This violence is all most repulsive'' even though Jane wildly sobs she locks her in ''without further parley'' and Jane hears her ''sweeping away.'' Jane is isolated once again and still is bullied by the Reed family with whom she doesn't fit in. In conclusion Jane is a victim however she still has spirit and a strong sense of justice in which she attempts to break free from the abuse of the Reed family and grow into an independent young woman who follows her destiny in life. Copyright to N Michaels ...read more.

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