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

will mainly discuss the way in which Charlotte Bronte portrays Jane Eyre whom the book is based on. I am going to show how Jane was treated and viewed by her companions.

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

I aim to discuss how the first ten chapters of Jane Eyre which is written by Charlotte Bronte, my question is how does Charlotte Bronte portray the way in which orphans were seen as during the nineteenth century? I will mainly discuss the way in which Charlotte Bronte portrays Jane Eyre whom the book is based on. I am going to show how Jane was treated and viewed by her companions. Jane is an orphan in the novel fully named Jane Eyre. She was portrayed as the victim of charity rather than a beneficiary of it. In this time the book was written middle and upper classes felt that they were doing a good deed for the less fortunate members of the community by offering them charity but sometimes the giving of charity became acts of cruelty and neglect towards the poorer classes and encouraged feelings of being "holier than thou" and self satisfaction in the upper classes. Charlotte Bronte shows this clearly and constantly early into the novel. Jane is seen by other characters as being nothing compared to them. Bronte states how orphaned children were seen as less than human because they needed charity. The upper classes thought that because they give them supplies such as food and shelter, they did not need more advanced things like love warmth or education. They were treated poorly and often used and sometimes abused. This was shown throughout in the book, e.g. being part of the Reed family but not being good enough to be a family member and looked down on as some piece of dirt at the bottom of their shoe. ...read more.

Middle

you none; you ought to beg, and not to live here with gentlemen's children like us, and eat the same meals we do, and wear clothes at our mama's expense". The constant verbal and physical abuse from the Reeds makes Jane's time at Gateshead, for the most part, intolerable. She is a social outcast in the Reeds' home. The only peace she finds at Gateshead is during times of voluntary solitude and while reading. Like orphans throughout English literature, Bronte allows her to develop an identity through the challenge of social mobility, a challenge that keeps her inferior while at Gateshead. Because of her young, orphaned status, Jane is unable to escape from the torment at Gateshead until Mrs. Reed decided to send her away. Again highlighting the fact that the children of the lower classes at the time had no control over what happened to them. As a result of her traumas at Gateshead, her experiences become the grounds on which she is able to build her future character. Jane is alone without any parental love to guide her except for Bessie's occasional show of affection. She has to make a life for herself by herself. With the lack of parental attachment, Jane welcomes her liberation from the Reeds, even if it is to yet another intolerable place and able to enjoy the parting even with the insecurity and uncertainty that she feels. Although Lowood, which was a charity school, provides Jane with a means to escape the abuse of the Reeds, the living conditions were extremely poor. ...read more.

Conclusion

Bronte shows here that by the questioning Helen she to has been influenced by the commonly held values of the time and at this point she feels that there may be a slight possibility that Helen is naughty simply because she is an orphan. Jane's strengths of character grows as Helens health deteriorates. Jane learns true goodness from Helen who is measured and far more Christian than the likes of Mr. Brocklehurst which balances her tendency towards improper behavior for the time. In comparison to her life at Gateshead, Lowood offerd Jane the opportunity to grow out of her "childlike disposition" and strive for a meaningful life on her own, with the guidance of the mother-like figure, Miss Temple. I feel that throughout "Jane Eyre, Bronte gives her character a strength and independence that were not typical characteristics of women of the time. She shows throughout Jane's development from childhood into a woman, that the common characteristics and misapprehensions felt towards orphans at the time were mostly true, simply because the majority did not have the same opportunities as Jane or the ability to make the most of them. The only way Jane escaped the life of an orphan was by true strength and determination, leaving behind those who did not share these strengths behind in the world of the lower, poorer classes. I also feel that at the same time criticizing the narrow minded often cruel values held by the religious Christians and upper classes, Bronte acknowledges that it takes a very special person such as Jane to break free of the stereotypical mold and also that society needed to question their treatment of orphans. Michael Village 11s ...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

    It was Helen her eye followed to the door; it was for her she a second time breathed a sad sigh; for her she wiped a tear from her cheek" This quotation shows how much affection Miss Temple has towards Helen and Jane.

  2. The Real Charlotte - review

    Declan Kibberd disagrees with the above view, arguing that, 'Charlotte is too malign for ongoing empathy'. Charlotte's affection towards Roddy is shown to us by the authors progressively, through the use of restrained hints. When dressing for Lady Dysart's tennis party Charlotte chose a gown, 'with more view to effect than was customary with her'.

  1. Show clearly through reference to the novel, the development of Jane's character in Charlotte ...

    The trust they had in each other became obvious when a fire broke out in mr Rochester's room, with Jane going in to save him showing bravery and courage. Their trust grows even stronger when he confides in her about Adele's mother.

  2. Compare "Jane Eyre" and "Rebecca" focusing in particularon each writer's use of symbolism.

    In "Jane Eyre" I looked at a passage where Jane walks across to the local town to post a letter, "...the ground was hard, the air was still, my road was bendy; I walked fast until I got warm and then walked slowly to enjoy and analyse the species of pleasure."

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

    companion Helen Burns, who finds the strength to endure the adversity in her life because of the belief that 'life is soon over, and death is a certain entrance to happiness'. Helen's example helps Jane to persevere in what she believes in throughout her life and therefore Helen has a brief but important influence over Jane.

  2. Manipulation and Sex in "Wide Sargasso Sea" ...

    The dream tells her to set fire on Thornfield Hall. All of Rochester's attempts to regain all power are gone. In the novel "Wide Sargasso Sea" By Jean Rhys, masculinity plays a big role. Because white men had all power at the time of the colonialism in which the novel

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

    Also it is a vindictive and hurtful thing so say nasty degrading things to people faces, let alone a child. This makes you wonder what Mrs Reed has said to Abbot about Jane, to make her hate her so much.

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