Essay about Jane Eyre Ap Question

861 Words Jun 2nd, 2013 4 Pages
Tim Kwist
AP English Literature and Composition
Quinn
April 1, 2013

Jane Eyre: AP Question Essay
“Writers often highlight the values of a culture or a society by using characters who are alienated from that culture or society because of gender, race, or creed.
Choose a play or novel in which such a character plays a significant role and show how that character's alienation reveals the surrounding society's assumptions and moral values.”

Women who had no claim to wealth or beauty received the harshest of realities in America’s Victorian era. Author Charlotte Bronte – from America’s Victorian era – examines and follows the life of a girl born into these conditions in her gothic novel Jane Eyre (of which the main character’s name
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Jane has gotten used to cruelty and biased behavior towards her average looks, and develops a miserable self-esteem that believes the only possible way to describe her exterior is “plain”. This self-esteem prevents her from even beginning to recognize that anyone could appreciate her or find her beautiful in any manner. The society’s typical reactions and judgments shaped Jane’s self-esteem, and prevented her from receiving equal treatment as that of a beautiful woman. Beyond the social values associated with appearance, Charlotte Bronte also points out the social ideals related to the importance of wealth. Jane seeks advice and comfort from Bessie in chapter 2, only for Bessie to tell Jane, “You ought to be aware, Miss, that you are under obligations to Mrs. Reed: she keeps you: if she were to turn you off, you would have to go to the poor-house” (Mrs. Reed, Jane’s aunt, constantly treats Jane crudely and unfairly). Bessie, in other words, tells Jane that she must put up with Mrs. Reed’s punishments and cruelties because her fiscal situation provides no alternative. Bessie shows no sympathy or remorse in her advice, as her worlds bluntly put the situation of context of how it “just is”. If one has no wealth, they become subject to whatever treatment comes to them and should expect nothing –

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