Charlotte Bronte's Jane Eyre
Jane Eyre was written in 1847 by Charlotte BrontÃ«. Clearly the context
in which an author writes will have a profound effect on the portrayal
of society. Jane Eyre was written to reflect a contemporary view of
the way young women's lives could be affected, if they were
unfortunate enough to be born without money. Middle-class women
without income had very few options open to them.
At the beginning of the novel at Gateshead, Jane Eyre is an orphan who
lives with her aunt, Mrs Reed and cousins, Eliza, John and Georgiana.
Her aunt and cousins constantly abuse Jane mentally and physically
while she is living there. At Lowood, she puts up with physical
hardship, and lives in tough conditions, including poor clothing, poor
nutrition and more mental abuse. Jane loses people whom she loves and
the abuse she suffers at a young age develops her character, this
prepares her for the difficulties in life.
Jane's relationship with her aunt and her cousins is terrible. Her
aunt and cousins abuse her mentally and physically: "â€¦without
speaking, he struck suddenly and strongly." Here BrontÃ« explains that
John Reed has thrown a book at Jane because she was reading one of his
books. Jane is not accepted as part of the family: "you ought to beg,"
says John. This shows that Mrs Reed and Jane's cousins treated Jane
with no respect and not as a member of their family. They treated her
as a servant who was not worthy of looking after. She found that she
was not loved as Mrs Reed's own children and is treated as an outcast
or outsider. In the 19th century society women had little power in the
class system. For example, Jane is put into the feared red room and
left there even though she begs to be let out. In her imagination she
hopes that Mr Reed will take revenge on her aunt. The atmosphere was
spooky, "glared white" and the setting was petrifying for Jane. She
takes revenge on her aunt and rebels because she is treated unjustly,
blamed for everything and her aunt favours her children over her. She
does take revenge as far as her position enabled her to: "I'm glad
you're no relation of mine, I never call you aunt againâ€¦" The language
used here is simple when Jane speaks so passionately. We see that Jane
cannot control her feelings about her aunt and she is capable of
saying what she thinks about her. By saying what she thinks, Jane
demonstrates her own passionate character and she has developed a very
sensitive awareness of justice and fairness.
Jane leaves Gateshead and she arrives at Lowood School on a dark,
rainy and windy day. She is very tired and so over excited that she is
unable to eat any supper that night. As she arrives there is a: "â€¦Wild
wind rushing amongst trees," frequently we are told that Jane likes
the wild side of nature, perhaps it...