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show how childhood is represented in charlotte brontes, jayne eyre

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Jake Aston To show how childhood is represented in charlotte Bronte's `Jane Eyre'. The social status of children in the Victorian age was drastically different to that of present day. Children were relentlessly suppressed and stringent expectations identified a `good' from a `bad' child. Social eminence of children relied entirely upon the class and wealth of parentage. Children of high class parentage were advantaged in a number of aspects, primary aspects were evident, with high class society comes wealth which offers the child a secure and established life style, something that the majority of the Victorian population lacked. Having a high class parentage also founded many secondary aspects to the child's existence and life style; they were instantaneously enhanced in the view of society which naturally offered a considerable amount of social and vocational opportunities to that of a child with inferior parentage. At this time orphans were seen as the one of the lowest forms of human life, and were often given the potent label of a sinner in what was a strongly religious society. Most orphans lived with this social stigma, and started to believe the ridicule and torment directed at them, subsequently accepting the limited opportunities in their life. However, Jane, a highly intelligent girl for an age of 10, refused to accept such an age dictated society, and rebels with modern ideals against the common stereotype. Jane is an extremely forthright, honest and does not comply to the standards and constraints set upon her by a Victorian childhood. Her drastic views are intensely controversial, especially coming from a female in that era. There appears to be many parallels between Bronte herself, and Jane during the plot. The purpose of an opening chapter is to set the ground and scene for the many elements in the story to make their introduction. These include things like the characters, themes and other issues. ...read more.


He again returns to the verbal abuse of `Rat! Rat!' that he utilizes earlier in his anguish upon Jane. Bessie describes Jane's reaction as a `picture of passion!' which reflects her refusal to submit to the expectations of her behaviour and obedience of a child in her position. The second chapter opens explosively with Jane's revolt, ` a new thing for me'. After the occurrence in the closing stages of chapter one Jane realizes her internal potency, and her disposition I express earlier becomes apparent, she no longer accepts punishment easily and begins to fight against her judicators. At the beginning of chapter two even Mrs. Reed's maids are abusing Jane 'mad cat', 'For shame!' they cried. This would normally be seen as poor conduct, as in this era a maid or servant would be lower in the hierarchy in the household than any family member or guest, this actuality makes these insults significantly more demoralizing than if someone with similar of higher social status had composed them. The fact that Mrs. Reed allows the abuse of Jane by the servants shows that Jane is the most contemptible figure within the household and this emphasizes the view that she is below the status of servants, ` you are less than a servant'. Jane is threatened that her 'passionate' nature will get her thrown out of her home. In contrast to this, children today are encouraged more to be passionate and creative. The lack of this encouragement in the Victorian era is another form of the oppression children were forced to live through. The servants further destabilize Jane's dignity when Miss Abbot states, `incredulous' this furthers Jane's oppression as they question her sanity. Jane expresses her misery in her whole life, `my very first recollections of existence include hints of the same kind' this shows that even throughout child hood Jane endured comparable abuse and maltreatment to that of her present dejected life. ...read more.


However, Miss Temple, Jane's teacher 'saw it was an accident' and promises her that she 'will not be punished', Jane claims it 'went to her heart like a dagger' this simile is used to show partly Jane's pleasure at a rare moment of compassion directed toward her, and partly because she knows this is not true. Brocklehurst then proceeds on a long dialogue ordering the other children to ignore her and exclude Jane from their games, and for the teachers to watch her carefully. He eventually calls Jane 'a liar', an almighty strong statement in such a society and another show of Mr Brocklehurst's religious beliefs. This passage culminates in Brocklehurst making a model of Jane and forcing her to stand upon the stool for 'half an hour longer' and for no one to engage conversation with her for the rest of the day. Mr Brocklehurst's punishment, divergent to his intentions, does not harm or upset Jane, because 'in passing' a girl 'lifted her eyes' and smiled at Jane. This gives Jane, for what appears to be, confidence in herself. 'It was as if I was a martyr, a hero' shows Jane's pleasure, as for once she is appreciated by another human, not seen as a omnipresent burden. This is another of Bronte's allegoric meanings, through this she conveys that no matter how much male oppression women endure they will not be seen in their eyes as superior. Jane's final statement that concludes chapter 7, `blind to the brightness of the orb' ,further shows her intelligent observant disposition as she is able to observe strengths and commendable virtues in others despite her life of harsh unjust treatment. Throughout `Jane Eyre' Bronte highlights many flaws in Victorian society, she uses the novel to covey her views about the unjust treatment of particular minorities and groups within society, throughout the oppression of orphans is present and criticised however in chapter 7 the demoralization if feminism is highlighted and criticised with great endeavour, and the patriarchal society is dejected by Bronte with great sentiment. Jake Aston ?? ?? ?? ?? 1 ...read more.

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