How far do you agree that the character Jane Eyre challenges Victorian ideals of social class?

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How far do you agree that the character Jane Eyre challenges Victorian ideals of social class

Charlotte Bronte’s protagonist ‘Jane Eyre’ challenges the structure of Victorian society through the use of first person narrative, the negative construction of characters such as Mr Brocklehurst, Blanche Ingram and through the developing relationship between Jane and Rochester. Presenting Jane’s strong sense of morality, Bronte describes Jane’s challenging experiences throughout her life - simply because she was poorly connected and dependant on those in more fortunate positions than her. Social class was particularly important within this era, as this depended on how you were judged and treated.

This is emphasised by the Reed family’s treatment of Jane as the Reed children were ‘clustered around their mama’ indicating their tight bond and how inseparable they are and how impenetrable their circle; Jane being the only one ‘dispensed’ from the group emphasises Jane’s loneliness and separation from them. The reasoning of Jane’s separation from the upper class children is because they have been accustomed to being disparaging towards the poor. This is even evident from Jane when she comments that “she would not like to belong” to poor relations even if they were kind, she admitted that she did not understand, “how they had the means of being kind.” Bronte’s presentation of even Jane’s attitude to poverty suggests that this is an attitude that has been impressed upon her and others continually by the Reed family from a young age. 

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Jane does not fear to defy the reed family regardless of how 'higher' they are in comparison to her, unlike others of her generation she does not consider the consequences but continues to express herself, ‘I will say the very thought of you makes me sick’ and ‘Because your wicked boy (John Reed) struck me’ this clearly indicates her rebellion against Mrs Reed who is of a higher class. The words ‘sick’ and ‘wicked’ connotes that Jane is challenging the normality of how lower classes present themselves to upper classes.

Likewise, the first appearance of Mr Brocklehurst he uses words such ...

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