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The Victorian Novel Jane Eyre has been considered a great work of literature

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Introduction

Imogen Whelan 2003-2005 Pre-1914 Prose Essay Jane Eyre How Does Charlotte Bronte create sympathy for Jane in the first two chapters of the novel? The Victorian novel Jane Eyre has been considered a great work of literature since it was published in the late 1840's. It follows the development of young Jane from being a girl to turning into a woman. It was very important for Charlotte Bronte to make the novel interesting and gripping right from the beginning as she had to get the reader interested in the novel so the reader will want to read on. Therefore I am going to be analysing the first two chapters to see just how Charlotte Bronte gets her readers gripped to her novel. The weather compares with Jane's mood when she is hiding behind the drapes in the lounge, as the weather is cold, dreary, misty and cloudy. It is also stormy and wet. Jane's mood at this moment is symbolised just the same as the weather. She is cold as she has no one to love her and her mind is probably cloudy because she has a lot of mixed emotions that she doesn't understand. Her feelings are also stormy, just like the weather, as she probably has a lot of hatred towards her cousins, especially towards John. In the red room, the weather contributes to Jane's feelings as the howling wind scares her as it is dark and many young children are scared of the dark. ...read more.

Middle

This makes the reader react with more sympathy for Jane as it makes the reader wonder how any child can be put through this sort of fear knowingly. In the red room, Jane's uncle, Mr Reed had died. It makes us the reader feel sorry for Jane as she is only a child and when the wind blows she probably thinks her uncles ghost is coming back to haunt her. Another way that the author, Charlotte Bronte, helps us to feel sorry for Jane is through language. The type of archaic language used in the novel, Jane Eyre, is a formal one that is typical of that era. In this novel the children talk formally as if they were adults. Jane does not swear in response when someone has hurt her as most adults in Victorian times would when their children misbehaved tell them that God is going to punish them that God is going to punish them and they will go to hell. Children in those days were thought to have been born with sin so they would have to be taught and disciplined to be good. The adults thought that children were naughty little things that should be seen and not heard. The Reed children belittle Jane by calling her names. "Dependent, you have no money, you ought to beg and not live here with gentlemen's children, wear clothes at are mama's expense." ...read more.

Conclusion

As a modern reader I feel sorry for Jane, as I know that she will not have a chance and choices in life that I know that I will have when I grow up. Charlotte Bronte and Jane are similar because they were both girls in a time when women did not have much in the world to do except maybe marry, be a governess or a maid. Charlotte Bronte was influenced by other writers of her time such as Charles Dickens who wrote about poor people and children. This was unusual style of writing for that time period as most novels were written about adults and rich people because these were the people who funded the novels to be written. I also think that Charlotte Bronte was influenced by the gothic stories of her time as she uses that very theme intensely in chapter two when she is talking about Jane in the red room. This analysis of the first two chapters has uncovered a great deal of exciting events, interesting characters and suspense. Considering these chapters are relatively short for a Victorian novel Charlotte Bronte has cramped a great deal of detail in them. She has used a variety of techniques and language to get across sympathy for her main character, that is Jane. I feel that I can say that after reading this novel Charlotte Bronte has successfully put across sympathy for "Jane Eyre" in the first two chapters of the novel. ...read more.

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