• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Portrayal of Childhood in Jane Eyre

Extracts from this document...


Portrayal of Childhood in Jane Eyre Jane Eyre is a novel written in the first person about her life. It follows her life from the eyes of an un-moulded child, to a moulded young woman. Charlotte Bront� was the author of the book and a lot of the book reflected aspects of her life, this added a more personal and atmospheric feel to the book. I think the genre of the book can be classed by a mixture of two: the gothic novel and the romantic novel. I think this, because the gothic novel includes many themes such as the mysterious and horrific or unexplained. This genre can definitely describe the mysterious happenings at Thornfield, which were to do with Bertha Mason (Mr. Rochester's secret wife). The romantic novel, expresses the passion that Jane holds within herself. There are different streams of romance as such, running throughout the novel and the love that Jane either receives or urges for. For example: there is true romance encountered with Mr. Rochester, in contrast to the 'fake' love suggested to her by St. John. Her passion or desire to be loved, can be seen whilst she is living at Gateshead, in contrast to the feelings of passion that she feels when she meets Helen Burns, or the Rivers family. The book shows a lot of independence and power that Jane has, and with this independence she tries to make something of herself, and break the social hierarchy. Parallel to this is Charlotte Bront�'s own life, because of two main things. Firstly, she wrote the book about Jane and her independence and will power, which in the 1800's were not the types of books people wrote about. ...read more.


He is humiliating Jane, using her religion against her and isolating her from looking into Christianity for help, seeing as she is the epitome of a bad Christian in his eyes. Right from her childhood, Jane experiences a strong divide in society or mainly between herself and the family. She is constantly reminded of what position she holds in the family and I think this possibly might foreshadow Jane's rebelliousness when she falls in love with her 'master'. This is because she ignores the fact that they are 'master' and 'employee' as such, but she tries to accept them both as equal in an acceptable sense. Jane reads 'Gulliver's Travels', at the start of the novel. The fact that she is reading this specific book can signify an underlying message of the 'hierarchy', before the reader actually encounters it. This is because when Gulliver encounters the Giant, he is somewhat less than him, in strength and physique. Jane could represent Gulliver in more than one sense, seeing as she will be going on her adventure to Lowood Institution etc. and John could represent the Giant. This is a quote that John Reed (her cousin) said to her: " ...You are a dependant, mama says: you have no money; your father left you none; you ought to beg, and no to live here with gentlemen's children like us, and eat the same meals as we do, and wear clothes at mama's expense..." This shows that John, is directly informing her of her position within the household, and referring several times to quotes his mother may have used. This shows that it wasn't a childish bullying statement, but one that began from the mother. ...read more.


Even though she only briefly describes the room, she mentioned the fact that there was a "little red gallery" above her. I think this sign of red, foreshadows the hurt that she receives from Mr. Brocklehurst and the uncomfortable, poor conditions of Lowood. Bedrooms also seem an intimate and significant part of Jane's upbringing because many life changing things happen to her in them. Firstly, she is locked in the red room, which is a very significant and emotionally turning point in her life- something that she would never forget. Secondly, Helen Burns dies within the bedroom of Ms. Temple. This is very significant to Jane, because Helen was the only person that Jane truly admired and loved at that time and for her to die was definitely an unforgettable experience. Thirdly, in her adult life she experienced the near death of Mr. Rochester with the fire in his bedroom; as well as the encounter of Bertha Mason within her own. I have noticed that 'bedrooms' and the colour 'red' are two significant subjects that keep passing throughout the novel. Therefore combining the two could result in an even more dreadful or emotional scene. This does happen, within the 'Red Room', which was inevitably a very emotional and scarring event for Jane. The themes portrayed in Jane Eyre's childhood, shaped her adult life. This is because at the present, she explains vividly the events that have occurred to her and have made a significant mark in her memory. Her childhood is some what confusing and during the course of her growing up, she moulded herself into a lady who consisted of all the events and pieces of advice she gained from others. The first 10 chapters are like a process diary of the evolution from the dependant girl, to the independent woman Jane Eyre. - 1 - ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Charlotte Bronte section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Charlotte Bronte essays


    She stands up firmly for her rights and defends her beliefs for equality to a great degree. Jane was obviously stupefied by hearing Helen's response to Miss Scratcherd. The fact that Helen insists on forgiving Miss Scratcherd, in a sense irritates Jane, as she does not understand why Helen acts in this way.

  2. How does Charlotte Bront Present Bertha Mason in "Jane Eyre"?

    It is revealed to us that Mr Rochester is already married - married to Bertha. It is at this point - when we are very much hating Bertha for stopping Jane being happy - that she is revealed to us to be a true beast.

  1. Jane's Diary

    He explained his past to me and even threw himself on the sofa and desperately pleaded me to stay. Those "words cut me: yet what could I do or say? I had made my decision and it tore me to speak these words but it was what I had to do.

  2. Bront portrays Jane Eyre as an untypical heroine. Examine Bront's language use, structure and ...

    Jane complains 'glad I was to get him out of the silk warehouse, and then out of a jewellers shop: the more he bought me, the more my cheek burned with a sense of annoyance and degradation'. This insecurity is quite unusual for a heroine as they are often portrayed as faultless.

  1. Jane Eyre - Was she a woman of her times?

    Through her humiliation Mr Brocklehurst describes Jane as a liar, an interloper and one of the devil's agents, purely from the information given to him by Mrs Reed. In her mind Jane thinks of retaliating with the truth, of Mrs Reed's true character, and the abuse she would in turn

  2. By Looking Closely At The Central Relationship, Consider To What Extent Jane Eyre and ...

    is never revealed and similarly the narrator is of a 'spurious origin' since she 'has not been brought up' in the same way as de Winter and so she does not really fit in at Manderley. She does not take on the identity of Mrs de Winter and we get the impression she is still searching for an identity.

  1. Free essay

    With special reference to the first nine chapters of Jane Eyre (Gateshead and Lowood) ...

    However Helen is quite inattentive in lessons which shows us that she cares very little for her 'current' life. "If people were always kind and obedient to those who are cruel and unjust, the wicked people would have it all their own way; they would grow worse and worse.

  2. Analyse the Role of Childhood in Jane Eyre

    Another interesting tool that Bronte uses to create mood and sympathy throughout the book is the weather. This is evident in chapter one as we are told about how miserable the weather is outside "near, a scene of wet lawn and storm-beat shrub, with ceaseless rain sweeping away wildly before

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work