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What is the significance of location in the first fifteen chapters of Jane Eyre by Bronte?

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Introduction

What is the significance of location in the opening fifteen chapters of Jane Eyre by Bronte? Bront� successfully uses location throughout her novel to help portray her characters and their experiences. The novel follows the life of Jane and how she grows and develops over time. Without the changes of location in the novel it would seem unrealistic, in everybody's life location is important. In these opening fifteen chapters we see three changes of location over Jane's eighteen years of life. The 3 locations are metaphors of Jane's journey to self discovery. Jane's first location is Gateshead her Auntie, Mrs Reed's house. This location is significant in her life because this is where she was left by her uncle and her parents after their deaths. Gateshead is important in the characterisation of Jane: ".You ought to beg, and not live here with gentlemen's children like us..." This shows the negative attitude towards Jane and how her past will always affect her future. ...read more.

Middle

The change of location is significant here because it ignites the desire for Jane to be honest with Mrs Reed and her dislike with her character. Jane's second location, Lowood, her new school is a highly anticipated change. It is significant in representing a change in her life. Jane is very excited about the move. However, it is not as brilliant as expected to be because she is classified as an orphan along with other poor, orphaned children. Jane is isolated here too; however she becomes stronger as a result and learns to control her emotions better, with the help of Miss Temple: "I resolved, in the depth o0f my heart, that I would be most moderate - most correct; and, having reflected a few minutes..." This strict environment at Lowood is significant because it has forced Jane to grow up and become emotionally more stable. Lowood is also significant to Jane's character because it forces her to be braver and bolder than before. ...read more.

Conclusion

Jane's final location in these fifteen chapters ends at Thornfield; it is generally a place of warmth compared to Jane's other homes. It is at this location that Jane meets her first adult crisis head on. She experiences infatuation and love with Mr. Rochester. This location is important because this is the growing up of Jane and the development from a child to a woman. Jane is given responsibilities at Lowood and embraces them: "Judgement would warn passion. Too feverish to rest, I rose as soon as day dawned." This is the first sign of Jane's love towards Mr. Rochester; this is significant to the location because these are her first adult feelings. Location is very important in this novel. It is the catalyst for Jane's characterisation. By forcing Jane into new uncomfortable situation she has to learn to adapt and she can be a new person who she desires to be. The novel is constantly changing location and constantly developing Jane's character. The location and characterisation of Jane are parallel throughout the novel. ?? ?? ?? ?? ...read more.

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