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The Portrayal of Education in 'Jane Eyre'.

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Introduction

The Portrayal of Education in 'Jane Eyre' Jane Eyre provides a truthful view of education in nineteenth-century England. It is also largely autobiographical, as some of the events that happen in Jane's life also happen in Charlotte's for example, Jane's time at Lowood is similar with Charlotte's education at a school for daughters of the clergy, which she and her sisters Maria, Elizabeth and Emily left for in 1824. 'Jane Eyre' is set in the early to mid eighteenth century and we see how life in the present compares to the time in which Jane lived. In the eighteenth century, school was not compulsory and that is why many people had little or no education at all. If you were wealthy, you would have a high-quality education, and you wouldn't have to work. If you were underprivileged however, your education, if any, would not be of a very good standard and you would have to work to earn enough money to survive. In 'Jane Eyre' Charlotte Bronte used her experiences at the Evangelical school and as governess. Jane Eyre in terms of education is a severe criticism of the limited options open to educated but poor women, the idea that women "ought to confine themselves to making puddings and knitting stockings, to playing on the piano and embroidering bags." ...read more.

Middle

When the half-hour on the stool ends, and the other girls have gone to tea, and Jane gets off the stool and weeps. Helen brings her coffee and bread, and tells her that the others will not dislike because of what had happened and what Mr. Brocklehurst had said, as the girls don't like Mr. Brocklehurst. When spring comes, the difficulties i.e. coldness, are lessened. However the school struck down with an infection as a result of "semi-starvation and neglected colds" and the institute is turned into a hospital therefore classes were broken up and the rules were relaxed. Sadly, some of the girls' die, among those was Helen Burns. Some of the girls who were privileged to have relatives were able leave the school. When the public learns of how many had died from the infection at the school and how poor the conditions were, many wealthy individuals came forward and built a new building and made new regulations and improvements. While Mr. Brocklehurst is still the treasurer, a committee of more sympathetic men now aids him. It was likely that wealthy individuals funded most charity schools, in the mid eighteenth century. ...read more.

Conclusion

In putting Miss Temple in charge, Bronte parallels her own life at Miss Wooler's school, as well as giving Jane a role model in Miss Temple. St. John's Morton School is an example of a class school. Again, Jane is never depicted teaching; only talking to her students after class. The school is accurate with the times, in which most of the public schools were now class schools. In these schools, a teacher is given a small class, allowing her to spend more time with each student, and every student would receive work suitable for his or her own age and ability. The passages which do show Jane at the school usually include praises of how well her students are doing and how the children of England are so much better than the children of the rest of the Europe. This belief also suggests that their education system is the best, including the newest form of schooling, the class school. While at first Lowood was an awful experience, Jane ended up getting a very good education, and went on to offer even better education to other children. Jane Eyre illustrates the troubles that someone could face in the charity schools of the early nineteenth century and the development of that education system into a much better, more efficient system. Kimberly April Maglantay Prose Study Ms. Boyd ...read more.

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