How do Jane’s experiences at Lowood contribute to her development?

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How do Jane’s experiences at Lowood contribute to her development? Before arriving at Lowood Jane lived at Gateshead, with her aunt and three cousins. She was unloved and treated badly, and had already developed a determination to stand up for herself and fight for her independence. The young Jane had baffled Mrs Reed, who could obviously not understand “how for nine years you could be patient and quiescent under any treatment, and in the tenth break out all fire and violence”. At Gateshead she is unhappy and when Mr Lloyd questions her after the “red-room incident”, she is shown to be naïve and ignorant of life. She has no real picture of honest, decent, working people and her experience of poverty is limited to her aunt’s…show more content…
Leaving Gateshead behind, with all her bad memories, Jane thinks to herself that things could only get better. Lowood is a charity boarding school for girls. The school curriculum emphasises attitudes towards education of girls, which, then were quite different to todays. It centred around the Bible and the lessons were on things that were suitable for ladies of “their position” to know. It didn’t take much to be considered a lady, as Bessie points out to Jane, just before Jane leaves for Thornfield. Jane can play the piano well, speak French, paint and draw and “work on muslin and canvass”, all of which classify her as “quite a lady”. In the beginning at the insitution, the food is quite unedible: with burnt porridge in the morning and a meagre fair for dinner, the girls are always hungry. But Mr Brocklehurst means them not to be encouraged in “habits of luxury and indulgence”. His views are extreme, contrasting with Miss Temple’s. Arriving at Lowood, she is shown to Miss Temple, the superintendent of the institution. Miss Temple is pretty in Jane’s eyes and she makes Jane welcome. Miss Temple, the superintendent, is a kind and fair teacher, who treats the girls at Lowood with respect and justice. She has a soft spot for Helen Burns and appears to be one of the strongest influences and role models for Jane during her stay at Lowood. Through Miss Temple’s friendship and example, Jane is

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