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Jane has a very strong character and view point; in this novel she tries to put her view point across no matter what the situation or the person. At the beginning of the story when john hit Jane with the book, she immediately responded with attitude and wanted him to know what she really thought of him:
“Wicked and cruel boy!”
“You are like a murderer- you are like a slave driver- you are like the roman emperors!”
Jane is not afraid to express her feeling when she knows she is in the right and something should be done about the situation.
Jane is also very truthful and innocent when responding to others, she doesn’t try to be anyone else but herself and always tells the truth no matter what people think of her, because when she first met Mr Brocklehurst as he asks her if she ever reads the bible, any other child would just lie and say yes, but Jane answers by saying:
“I have read the bible, but I don’t enjoy the psalms”
This infers that she is very unique child who actually does enjoy the bible, but the parts she doesn’t prefer she tells Mr Brocklehurst the complete truth and also brings humour and smartness into their conversation.
Jane is also very manipulative towards Mrs Reed by saying to her:
“My Uncle Reed is in heaven, and can see all you do and think, and so can mamma and papa”
She frightens Mrs Reed by saying this as she has never had a child who has spoken back to her in such tone and knows what she has been doing is wrong, Jane is very smart and knows how to make Mrs Reed feel unsure about what will happen to her.
This shows her intelligence compared too Mrs Reed who is extremely shallow and usually doesn’t care about other people and their feeling, but Jane knows the way to overcome it.
In these first ten chapters Jane has not yet developed a mature attitude toward life and death, and finds it quite hard to deal with difficult situations at points in the novel. In situations such as dealing with getting locked up in the red room her imagination took over and couldn’t cope with the pressure of being disciplined, she is still very scared about coping with life on her own and this is yet a part of her life that she yet hasn’t discovered simply because she is still very young an immature. Also at Lowood always has to answer back when being disciplined and doesn’t really understand that sometime it is necessary to be quiet in certain situations, sometimes Jane doesn’t know when to keep her mouth shut and always has to have an opinion when not necessary.
Jane has to face an extremely difficult situation in this story, when Helen burns, her best friend is dying. Jane considers death but not as a reality she has a childlike attitude towards death. This is the point where Jane has not fully committed to God and afterlife; this is the difference between both these girls, she has not commited towards God yet in the novel because life hasn’t really been on her side where she has lost her parents and is now getting mistreated by her Aunt, she hasn’t experienced any love or care from anyone in a while until she met Helen Burns:
“She is not going to die; they are mistaken; she could not speak and look so calmly if she were.”
Jane is shocked and can not take on board Helens death she is yet scared, it is ironic that Helen has to comfort Jane because she has realised death is part of your life and believes she will be at a better place with God:
“I believe; I have faith: I am going to God.”
In chapter ten Jane’s character changes, after Helens death Jane had matured and realised that everyone has to die sometime and can happen so sudden. Helens death had a huge impact on the change in Jane’s character as I taught her a lesson about life, that it’s too short. Jane had progressed greatly and took advantage of all educational opportunities made available to her. This begins the third stage of her life and also here movement into adulthood. Jane has also became very responsible in this chapter as she finds out from Bessie that John Reed has treated his mother horribly and left her when she was ill, even though what Mrs Reed has put Jane through she went back to Gateshead to see how she was keeping, this shows us that she can now deal with difficult situations on her own and takes life as it comes.
Charlotte Bronte’s writing affects how we feel about Jane at this stage, as she creates good impression of a child’s view point. Charlotte Bronte has experienced this in her own childhood and when reading this novel she captures your attention and takes us through the experience with her, as she has lost her sister when she was at school. This is her describing how she felt at this time of her childhood and how she coped with the pressure through the character of Jane Eyre.
Victorian attitudes for females were too have children, clean the house, do the cooking and were left uneducated. They were not allowed to go out and work an earn money for the family. In Victorian times they were extremely sexist. This had a huge effect on most of the Victorian ladies an their lives.
In this novel Charlotte Bronte put across the point that women can be educated and do more for them than be housewives and rear children. That anyone can be something if they know they can and put their mind to it. Jane is a very strong character, as she made it in life through the tough times and still came out strong and with respect for herself and other people who have treated her with no respect at times.
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