Eujean Oh AP Literature and Composition Close Reading-Jane’s Character First Setting: Gateshead Throughout the book Jane Eyre, the protagonist Jane goes through a variety of stages in her life where the setting/environment of where she lives in forms a part of her character and who she becomes as a person. The first setting in the novel is the Reed family’s home in Gateshead, England. As an orphan with no parents, she is taken in by Mrs. Reed who promised the late Mr.Reed to take care of Jane. Playing the role of the “mean stepmother”, Mrs. Reed as well as all of her cousins John, Eliza and Georgiana treat her as if she was a lowly, undeserving girl. At the fragile age of ten, Jane develops an almost rebellious character and has a lot of anger built inside of her because of feeling wronged by the unfortunate deeds of the Reed family that drives her to become lonely and miserable as a child. Being locked up in the red room also gave her a superstitious side that also proves as a part of the prejudices that form around her when people don’t
Readers learn early in the story that Jane Eyre does not fit contemporary society's idea of a proper woman. As a child, Jane stands up to her aunt, Mrs. Reed, on more than one recorded occasion when Jane feels she has been treated unjustly (Brontë 28, 37). At one point, Jane bluntly tells her aunt, "I declare, I do not love you: I dislike you the worst of anybody in the world except John Reed [Jane's cousin]" (37). This was at best improper behavior for a child in Victorian society, and it was most definitely seen as improper by Mrs. Reed who grows to hate Jane, calling her "tiresome, ill-conditioned" and "scheming" (26). But her aunt's reprimands and hatred do not deter Jane from speaking up in the face of injustice.
In the novel Jane Eyre, the author Charlotte Bronte displays the main character Jane as someone who goes against the grain in societal values, roles, and constructions. In Terry Eagleton's essay "Jane Eyre's Power Struggles", he sees internal conflict within the book as she attempts to sort out social class barriers and gender role conflicts. As Jane goes through life she has many challenges starting at a young age with both her parents being dead and raised in a house where she is not loved or wanted, Jane is sent away to a school for poor orphan girls. The book was written in a the Victorian time period where one's status in society was determined by what class they were born into. Going astray from the norm, Jane opposes the caste system
Substitute Mothers in Jane Eyre In Charlotte Bronte’s Jane Eyre, Jane is an orphan who is often mistreated by the family and other people who surround her. Faced with constant abuse from her aunt and her cousins, Jane at a young age questions the treatment she receives: "All John Reed’s violent tyrannies, all his sister’s proud indifference, all his mother’s aversion, all the servants’ partiality, turned up in my disturbed mind like a dark deposit in a turbid well. Why was I always suffering, always brow-beaten, always accused, forever condemned?" (27; ch. 2). Despite her early suffering, as the novel progresses Jane is cared for and surrounded by various women who act as a sort of "substitute mother" in the way they guide,
The first type of abuse that Jane experiences is physical abuse. This is caused by John Reed. John is first introduced to the reader in the very first chapter of the book. He immediately shows dominance over Jane and treats her with disrespect. Pushed by his savage personality, John bullies Jane. For instance, in this chapter, John throws a book at Jane, causing her to fall and cut her head. This brutal behavior affects Jane and helps her to stand up for herself. Even though she does stands up for herself, John continues to bully her. Since Jane is considered nothing but a nuisance to the Reed’s, John blames his mistakes on Jane, and because of this, John’s punishments pass over to Jane. Although Bronte’s dynamic character, Jane, is changed from abuse displayed by the infamous John Reed, She continues to stand strong as best as she can. Eventually, Mrs. Reed sends Jane to a
Violence is the most recurrent gothic convention used in Jane Eyre, which is prominent in Charlotte Brontë's effective development of the novel and the character of Jane Eyre, who, throughout this novel, is searching for a home in which she would have a sense of belonging and love which would ultimately resolve this exact unfulfilled need she had as a child. The neglect she experienced in her childhood is manifested in the way she is treated by her aunt, Mrs. Reed, as in the first page of the novel Jane Eyre admits: ‘Me, she had dispensed from joining the group, saying, 'She regretted to be under the necessity of keeping me at a distance’’. This opening shows how there is a clear line of separation drawn between Jane and her relatives due to her complicated family background which consequently results in their reluctance to accept her into their environment. These complications lead to her maltreatment, which also adds on to the violence she experiences acting as a catalyst for the development of the character and her subconscious quest.
In the novel’s exposition, Jane Eyre, a ten-year-old child, begins to face gender injustice by his cousin, John Reed. In “In the Window-Seat: Vision and Power in Jane Eyre,” Peter J. Bellis states, “John Reed claims the house and its contents as his . . .” (641). He exerts authority on her simply because he is a male by abusing and bossing her, making it seem as if he owns her. The situation starts holding Jane back as a female, leaving her defenseless, as “the powerless victim of its oppressive force” (Bellis 641). John greatly contributed to Jane’s suffering as a child, by abusing the power he had over her. She speaks of how John harshly demanded of her, saying, “I want you to come here;’ and, seating himself in an armchair, he intimated by a gesture that I was to approach and stand before him,” referring to him as “master” (4). The simple act of her needing to call him “master” demonstrates the dominance he possesses. He deprived her of freedom such as simply reading a book by controlling her life at a young age, and it
In the novel Jane Eyre, written by Charlotte Bronte, Jane lives in Three different places which greatly affect her life. The first place Jane stays is Gateshead Hall. She then goes to live at Lowood School. From Lowood Jane proceeds on to Thornfield Hall. The first place Jane stays is Gateshead Hall. While at Gateshead, Jane is treated unfairly and is punished for things she did not do. After the death of Jane's parents, her uncle, Mr. Reed brought Jane into his house. On her uncle's deathbed Mrs. Reed promises to treat Jane like one of her own children. Jane's aunt, Mrs. Reed, does not like Jane and has a very hard time doing this. She feels Jane was forced upon her family after the death of her parents. Against her husband's Mrs. Reed then punished Jane by sending her into the red room, the room her uncle died in, for the entire night. While in the red room Jane became terrified and thought she saw or heard the flapping of wings. The treatment Jane received caused her to become bitter and to truly dislike Mrs. Reed. "I am not deceitful: if I were, I should say I loved you, but I declare I do not love you: I dislike
Throughout the book, Jane endures both physical and mental abuse from multiple individuals; however, she defies them by fighting back in her own way. The abuse starts at Gateshead when her older cousin, John Reed, verbally and physically assaults Jane. Brontë writes on page 12, “He bullied and punished me; not two or three times in the week, nor once or twice in a day, but continually: every nerve I had feared him, and every morsel of flesh on my bones shrank when he came near.” Jane consciously chooses to defend herself after John strikes her on page 13 and 14, “I wonder if he read that notion in my face; for, all at once, without speaking, he struck suddenly and strongly. I tottered, and on regaining my equilibrium retired back a step or two from his chair…I don’t very well know what I did with my hands, but he called me…” Jane defies John’s authority as the man of the house by fighting back when he abuses her. By doing this, Jane breaks the typical Victorian gender-based ideal that a woman must obey and be complacent to the directive of any man in a higher position than her (Olga Zeltzer, Historical Analysis: Women as the "the Sex" During the Victorian Era). Jane’s actions,
The pivotal moment that affected Jane Eyre’s outlook on life was due to her harsh upbringing by her aunt and her cousins. It is first introduced to the reader that Jane was adopted by her kind Uncle Reed, and his family, while Jane was sent to the red room as punishment and she was pondering about the past in order to pass time. The red room was a chamber, with décor that was almost all red, which could be locked from outside. The reason Jane was sent to the red room was because she had lashed out at her snobby and obnoxious cousin John Reed that on a regular basis would torment Jane. After years of pent up anger and frustration Jane couldn’t take it any longer. On regular occasion, she was outcast by her own family, although only she was only blood related to her deceased Uncle Reed and partly to his children. Before he had passed, Jane’s uncle had made a promise with his wife that she would raise Jane as if she were one of her own children. But, as time went on the Reed family’s
Everyone thinks a child in an orphanage will find a kind family and live happily ever after, but not in this book. Jane Eyre is a book that illustrates the struggle and growth of a young orphan girl named Jane. Jane battles through the hardship in her education and captivity. This can be seen throughout the places Jane has stayed, such as Gateshead Hall, Lowood Institute and Thornfield. Throughout this story, Jane unlocks her emotions which sculpts her into a mature and independent woman.
The only time that a member of the Reed family speaks to Jane is when they are belittling her, hoping to further assert their elite dominance over the lower class. In one particular quarrel, John Reed, the oppressive “Roman emperor” and “slave driver,” throws a book at Jane’s head to physically proclaim his dominance over her, to which Jane responds by verbally firing back at his elitist oppression. (Brontë 13) The battle between the social classes concludes with Jane being banished to the horrifying red-room as punishment for attempting to overthrow the elite power, John Reed, even though John was the clear instigator of the scuffle. Jane is later condemned by the house servants for her attempt to overthrow her “young master.” Jane and John are both children, but due to the wealth and status of his parents, John is allowed to rule over Jane, making Jane, as the Gateshead servants would describe, “‘less than a servant’” because she does nothing for her keep. (Brontë 15) Jane continuously faces this maltreatment at Gateshead until an outburst directed towards Mrs. Reed causes her to be sent away to Lowood school, a place where Mrs. Reed hopes Jane will perhaps be taught to conform to the societal norm of how a young girl like Jane should act in
Chapter Ones: The Novels Have you ever read the first chapter of the book and decided right away whether you were going to enjoy that book or not? After reading chapter one of the three novels Emma, Wuthering Heights, and Jane Eyre the one that grabbed my attention and left me
What impression do we gain of Jane Eyre in the opening chapters? In the first few opening chapters Jane Eyre is seen as a mentally and physically abused child, during her years at Gateshead Hall. John Reed displays violence towards Jane in the first chapter. He punishes and bullies Jane; it is not known why the Reed family resent her so much. Her situation is seen as desperate within the first few paragraphs. Her cousins and Aunt make her life impossible and unbearable, she is not seen as a member of the family. Jane is simply seen as ‘’less than a servant’’ as she does ‘’nothing for her keep’’.
Charlotte Bronte created one of the first feminist novels--Jane Eyre--of her time period when she created the unique and feminist female heroine, Jane Eyre. Throughout the novel, Jane becomes stronger as she speaks out against antagonists. She presses to find happiness whether she is single or married and disregards society’s rules. The novel begins as Jane is a small, orphan child living with her aunt and cousins due to the death of her parents and her uncle. Jane 's aunt--Mrs. Reed--degrades her as she favors her biological children. Jane 's aunt--Mrs. Reed--degrades her as she favors her biological children. Her cousin--John Reed--hits her and then Mrs. Reed chooses to punish her instead and sends her to the room in which her uncle