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Mr Brocklehurst, a do-gooder?

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Introduction

Mr Brocklehurst is a Christian "do-gooder" who wants to educate children. To what extent do you agree with this statement? Mr Brocklehurst, in Charlotte Bront� 's Jane Eyre, is the headmaster of Lowood Institution; a clergyman who feels like his mission in life is to "save" the young girls at Lowood and to point them in the direction of God, and all that is good and proper. I strongly disagree with the statement that Mr Brocklehurst is a Christian "do-gooder" who wants to educate children, and I shall be exploring this further within this essay. Schools in the Victorian era were expensive, if you were a family with little income and couldn't afford the fees of a decent school, there was always the option of Charity Schools. This is what the Lowood Institution is, a Charity School for girls whose parents could not afford to send them to a better school. ...read more.

Middle

In chapter 4, when we first meet Brocklehurst, Jane describes him as a "black pillar". In the bible it tells Christians to be like "pillars of light". The colour black conjures dark, evil, threatening imagery, completely contradicting who Brocklehurst claims to be, a good Christian man wanting to help the souls of young girls. He is shown as callous and lifeless, "grim face", "carved mask". The "mask" it speaks of could be the mask he presents to other adults, that he is running Lowood for the girls, and for God, Jane hinting at this mask to show Brocklehurst is not what he portrays himself to be. Brocklehurst is patronising towards Jane, his attitude demeaning her, "Your name, little girl?" He treats Jane with little to no respect, it's all very uniform and strict, with no compassion or kindness, surely a Christian man should be kind to the children he is trying to help? ...read more.

Conclusion

Angel sing psalms,' says he; 'I wish to be a little angel here below;' he then gets to nuts in recompense for his infant piety..." The young boy clearly knows exactly what to say to Mr Brocklehurst in order to receive two gingerbread-nuts instead of one, however he uses this against Jane in an attempt to make her look evil in the eyes of God, just because she isn't as interested in the psalms as Brocklehurst is. He fills Jane with fear at the thought of hell, informing her of how she will burn if she doesn't make peace with God, "all liars will have their portion in the lake burning with fire and brimstone". This seems a little contradictory, considering he rewarded a young boy with gingerbread-nuts even though the boy was only playing his gullible nature, and yet Jane doesn't even lie, and yet she gets threatened with eternal torture in a lake of fire. Jane even refers to Brocklehurst as her "interrogator", making him seem more threatening than caring, caring being the more Christian trait out of the two. ...read more.

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