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Jane's experience in Lowood School is representative of life in Victorian England. Discuss with reference to other texts.

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Introduction

Jane's experience in Lowood School is representative of life in Victorian England. Discuss with reference to other texts. Jane Eyre is a novel by Charlotte Bronte, set in the Victorian Era. It was during this time that the industrial revolution, in Great Britain, began. The Victorian period was the beginning of a severe system of labour. During this time power and money overran society. It was a phase of family unity, and principles. The Victorian age was dirty and unhygienic. The poor were disadvantaged and the rich had power. This was obvious and common in every aspect of life in the Victorian cities. The conditions were unsanitary and the life expectancy was very low compared to today's standards. Disease was everywhere and everyone was vulnerable to it especially the poor. The writers in those days, like Charlotte Bronte and Charles Dickens, were interested in showing people the injustices of the nation during this time, especially towards children. Children were neglected and uncared for. Most were treated this way; those who weren't were rich. Some children got no education at all and had to work in a factory to stay alive. Ironically this factory work would most likely be the cause of their death. Others went to workhouses were they got accommodation or food, but they to had to work. Those who were orphans were most unlucky. They had no place in society, they were poor but they had no class, they were more like animals, who could be "farmed" and used for others prosperity and benefit. Jane Eyre is an orphan she lives at her uncle's estate, Gateshead. Her uncle however is dead and she lives with his wife, Mrs Reed. Even the name Gateshead suggests that she is trapped, it is uninviting. Jane is not considered a member of the family; her position is less than a maid. The reason for this is because she is poor and an orphan. ...read more.

Middle

Mr. Bumble is also ironic, she acts like he is of extravagant importance, but he is just a minor, a messenger. Mr. Bumble's size suggests his ego. To bumble is to move awkwardly. Bumble suggests to me a lack of skill, this creates an image of a blundering fool. He gets frustrated when he can't open the gate, and then proceeds to place the blame on Mrs. Mann. The very name Mrs. Mann is paradoxical; she is hardly womanly at all. She is not maternal, nor motherly towards the children. She locks them in the basement and doesn't feed or clothe them properly. She is only interested in one thing and one thing only, herself. There aren't any truthfully kind words of tenderness from this "benevolent protectress". She is a figure of disgust, a despicable woman, resembling the low, degrading decadents of the social order at this time. By using caricature, irony, and humour in his stories we are entertained, but underneath this is the demoralizing truth of social inequality at this time. Lowood and the Workhouse are also alike. They are strict and enforce firm rules. They punish and humiliate the boys and girls for simple unnecessary reasons, and order them around like and army. The schools are run down pupils receive very little food or medical attention. They are unhygienic and disease spreads rapidly around the vulnerable children. Administers in both places have enough money to ensure that the places are not dilapidated and unhygienic but instead they immorally use the money for their own prosperity. One of Emily Bronte's most dominant image patterns is the use of the traditional elements earth, fire, water, and air. Atmosphere plays a significant role in the novel. The pun of the name "Eyre" is suggestive of passion. Jane like the air is a wanderer, she is spiritual. Use of pathetic fallacy reflects Jane's mood. During Jane's journey to the Institution the weather is wet, windy, and has a hostile element. ...read more.

Conclusion

However his daughters enter the scene in "velvet, silk and furs." Mr Bumble does not care about the children or how Mrs Mann treats them. He is an egotistical man. He only cares about himself and his money, as does Mrs Mann. The authors I have studied, Charlotte Bronte and Charles Dickens document the unrighteousness of the Victorian period. In my opinion, people only cared about money. I believe this is the basis for cruelty in those days. People wanted money and would abuse every system to get money. It was an unjust time to live in, and especially to grow up in. Charles Dickens wants to inform the readers of the future all about the hard times that people endured. He wants to let them know all about the children like Oliver Twist, and their lives. Though it is fiction, it is a representation of reality. Dickens uses humour in his books to make them interesting and easily readable. He wants to shock the reader, and this would inform them all about the world he lived in. Hard Times is a moral Fable, it entertains but at the same time it educates us of the dangers and brutality in this society. Charlotte Bronte uses first person narrative, to get us closer with the character. She uses it to make us sympathise with Jane. Though not as informative as Dickens, it is very interesting. She draws us closer to the character of Jane, whereas Dickens wants to inform us about the society. Bronte wants to create a story, while Dickens also wishes to illustrate the ruthless reality of the time. The Victorian Era was a cruel time. The wool was pulled over people's eyes. People gave false representations of themselves and others, like Mrs Reed and Mrs Mann. Children were the unluckiest of everyone children were victimised, neglected, and abused. Not necessarily the case for the rich but, mainly the poor, and especially orphans. As Jane says "poverty looks grim to grown people: still more so to children." Nuala Malone ...read more.

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