Poverty and Charity in Jane Eyre Essay

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Poverty and Charity in Jane Eyre

When Jane Eyre resided at Gateshead Hall, under the care of her aunt, Mrs. Reed, she yearned for a change. The treatment that she received at Gateshead Hall was cruel, unjust, and most importantly, lacked nurture. Jane wanted to escape Gateshead Hall and enter into a school. The school that was imposed upon Jane was Lowood Institution. Through her eight year stay at Lowood, Jane learned how to control her frustrations and how to submit to authority. After leaving Lowood Institution and taking the occupation as governess at Thornfield Hall, Jane realized that her experiences at Gateshead Hall and Lowood Institution had deeply rooted themselves into her personality. After departing Thornfield Hall, Jane
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In one instance, finding that Jane had borrowed one of John's books, he physically and mentally torments her:

You have no business to take our books; you are a dependent, mamma says; you have no money; your father left you none; you ought to beg, and not live here with gentleman's children like us, and eat the same meals we do, and wear clothes at our mamma's expense. Now, I'll teach you to rummage my book-shelves. (43; ch. 1)

After yelling at Jane, John Reed threw the book at her and caused her head to bleed. The entire outcome of this incident was blamed on Jane; not because she borrowed a book, but because she was considered "less than a servant" and a wicked child by everyone who resided at Gateshead Hall, including the servants (44; ch. 2). It was hard for Jane, who at the time was ten years old, to understand why she was treated so harshly. She questioned herself as to why she deserved such ill-treatment: "Why was I always suffering, always browbeaten, always accused, and forever condemned?" (46; ch. 2). The only answer she could come up was that she "was a discord in Gateshead Hall" and that she "had nothing in harmony with Mrs. Reed or her children" (47; ch. 2). Jane did not even consider the Reeds as part of her family. "I am unhappy -- very unhappy . . . For one thing, I have no father or mother, brothers or sisters" (56; ch. 3). Jane longed for a "complete change . . . an entrance into a new life . . .
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