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

Title: What does Bronte wish us to understand about early 19th century society from our reading of the first ten chapters of "Jane Eyre"?

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Pre 1914 Prose Jane Eyre Title: What does Bronte wish us to understand about early 19th century society from our reading of the first ten chapters of "Jane Eyre"? In the early chapters, Bronte establishes the young Jane's character through her confrontations with John and Mrs. Reed, in which Jane's good-hearted but strong-willed determination and integrity become apparent. These chapters also establish the novel's mood. Jane is an invented character but there was such a thing as mis-treated children. One type of abuse was the abuse directed to Jane by the Reed family. Jane's' aunt makes her life a misery. Jane is starved of love and affection. Mrs Reed finds fault with Jane because she wasn't a content child. Jane says, " She really must exclude me from privileges intended only for contented, happy little children." Mrs Reed gives an unbelievable amount of cruel treatment to Jane; for example, Mrs Reed has a new set of rules exclusively for Jane. John Reed is a child that behaves in an abusive way. No adult in the household stopped John's behaviour. "He called his mother 'old girl'...reviled her for her dark skin... and he was still 'her own darling'." John vandalized the place; insulted and disrespected his mother despite this; he was still her own darling. John steps out of line, and is despicably behaved. "John Reed...large and stout for his age...with flabby cheeks. He ought to have been at school; but his mamma had taken him home for a month or two, 'on account of his delicate health'." ...read more.

Middle

Abbot was the lady's maid therefore she was constantly taking orders from Mrs Reed as well as hearing what she has to say concerning Jane. Bessie also shows kindness to Jane, she would tuck her up in bed and kiss her and sometimes she would bring her up something to eat. Servants picked up the bad attitudes from Mrs Reed who always criticises Jane. "If you don't sit still, you must be tied down," said Abbot. This is an act you do to a criminal not to a innocent 10 year old girl. "You ought to be aware, miss, that you are under obligations to Mrs Reed: she keeps you; if she were to return you off you would have to go to the Poorhouse." Bessie means this kindly; she does not want to see it happen. Jane is classed lower than a servant. Servants work for a living. Servants think Mrs Reed is very kind to Jane. As a penniless orphan forced to live on the charity of others, Jane is a kind of second-class citizen. In some ways she is below even the servants, who certainly have no obligation to treat her respectfully. Jane thinks of poverty as synonymous with degradation. Jane has been taught that being poor is a terrible thing. She doesn't realise there is respectable poverty. A total different aspect of abuse is the abuse all the girls suffered at Lowood. At Gatesead Jane is the only one suffering, at Lowood she doesn't feel alone. ...read more.

Conclusion

privations and humiliations, like when he orders that the naturally curly hair of one of Jane's classmates be cut so as to lie straight, is entirely un-Christian. Of course, Brocklehurst's proscriptions are difficult to follow, and his hypocritical support of his own luxuriously wealthy family at the expense of the Lowood students shows Bronte's wariness of the Evangelical movement. Helen Burns's humble and forbearing mode of Christianity, on the other hand, is too passive for Jane to adopt as her own, although she loves and admires Helen for it. The most important thematic elements in this section are the contrasting modes of religious thought represented by Mr. Brocklehurst and Helen Burns. The angelic Helen Burns and her doctrine of endurance represent a religious position that contrasts with Mr. Brocklehurst's. Utterly passive and accepting of any abjection, Helen embodies rather than preaches the Christian ideas of love and forgiveness. But neither form of religion satisfies Jane, who, because of her strong sensitivity to indignities and injustices, reviles Brocklehurst's shallow devotional displays and fails to understand Helen Burns's passivity. As Jane herself declares: "when we are struck at without a reason, we should strike back again very hard . . . so as to teach the person who struck us never to do it again". Helen's doctrine of endurance and love is incompatible with Jane's belief in fairness and self-respect. In Bronte's time, Evangelicalism had becomes inextricably bound up with social class and often involved those with social status dictating how social inferiors should behave. Rifki Schachter Year 10 ...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

  1. EXAMINE THE SIGNIFICANCE OF JANE EYRE'S RELATIONSHIP WITH HELEN BURNS

    The fact that Miss Temple follows Helen around the room with a tear in her eye, tells the reader that Miss Temple knows just how ill Helen is. This creates fear in Miss Temple's mind, which shows us just how much love Miss Temple has.

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

    Jane Eyre has conformed to the conventions of Romance genre like Rebecca has also done. Also the way in which the romance and passion heightens as the obstacle is greater and more threatening is also common in romance novels and suggests Jane Eyre and Rebecca conform to the conventions of these novels.

  1. Considering Charlotte Bront's 'Jane Eyre' and Jane Austen's 'Pride and Prejudice', To What Extent ...

    get married and presumably continue a life of domesticity at the end of both novels. Therefore by contrasting and comparing the two novels, as well as comparing to other sources from the period such as advice literature, diaries etc, it is possible to ascertain what society deemed the domestic ideal in this period.

  2. In Jane Eyre, religion is embraced through a series of spiritual explorations. Bronte portrays ...

    Though she may seem devoted to her religion, Eliza is a rigid, angry, compassionless woman who does not shed a tear when her mother dies. Eliza is self-centered and unable to express any form of love. By portraying Eliza in this manner, Bronte was able to express her feelings about the Roman Catholic religion to readers.

  1. Explore the presentation of the relationships between adults and children in chapters 1-9 of ...

    When Jane is sent to Lowood School, Mr Brocklehurst physically mistreats the girls and they are not properly looked after. He prefers to indulge his family rather than spend money on good food and proper clothes for the girls. Helen Burns comments on this when Jane asks if he lives

  2. I will be examining three different locations used in Charlotte Bront's novel 'Jane Eyre' ...

    She endures this, and it builds the strength of her character, which gives her the courage, in the end, to leave Thornfield. Her courage comes from the fact that most of her life she has had to deal with difficult relationships.

  1. How Charlotte Bronte makes the reader sympathy towards Jane Eyre in the opening chapters

    He bullied and punished me...Every nerve I had feared him, and very morsel if flesh in my bones shrank when he came near me." This shows how scared and how abysmally John treated Jane. This also uses emotive language to make the reader feel sorry for Jane.

  2. With close attention to content, style and themes, examine the ways that Henry James ...

    The appearance of apparitions is a key characteristic of the gothic genre and the ambiguous and paranoid nature of the Governess, the protagonist, serves to create atmosphere and build tension. Henry James uses emotive language and the use of figurative language helps to provoke the reader into the story and

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