Jane’s Early Life

April 28, 2020 by Essay Writer


  • 1 Reflection and Comment
  • 2 Representation and Comment #2
  • 3 Representation and Comment #3

Reflection and Comment

Throughout her early life (and much of the beginning of the novel), Jane Eyres life is not particularly happy. An orphan, her aunt and uncle treat her horribly, and her cousin goes out of his way to make Janes life miserable. Her departure from her abusive household replaces her immediate surroundings with the bleakly grim reality of Lowood, a public charity institution for orphaned girls.

There, she befriends a girl named Helen Burns, a figure who I strongly believe resembles a strong cross between Jesus Christ and a matronly figure. When humiliated by Miss Satcherd in front of her class, she neither wept nor blushed: composed, though grave, she stood, the central mark of all eyes””. (73) Helen, who is often used as a scapegoat for many teachers, is one of the strongest advocates and practitioners of turning the other cheek. Unlike Jane, who has been taught that the world is a cold and cruel place, and should be treated as such, Helen sincerely believes in accommodating her tormentors. She bears the humiliation and pain, comforted by the fact that she will be awarded posthumously by the Lord. She teaches Jane about kindness and shows her friendship. She takes care of Jane, and her selflessness and sense of generosity extends as far as her deathbed. When dying of consumption(disease), she offers Jane her blanket because Jane may need it more. Even in death, she is serene and confident in the pearly gates opening before her. Finally, the most obvious allusion to Christ on the part of Bronte is Helens tombstone- unnoticeable, simple, and with the Latin text: Resurgam. I rise again.

Representation and Comment #2

The story of Jane Eyre could be considered similar to any Victorian tale of stuffy, archaic romance without much action, but that would mean ignoring Mr. Rochesters living skeleton in his closet: Bertha Mason. Rochester met Bertha on a trip to Jamaica in his youth, quickly marrying her and taking her to England. As time goes on, Berthas insanity causes Rochester to lock her in his attic. Solitary confinement doesnt do anyone good, least of all the mentally ill. In Victorian times, without any effective treatments for madness, there wasnt much available to the families of mentally ill people. Rochester, regretful of his poor decision making, does not tell Jane about Bertha until confronted about it. Jane, on her part, does not even realize that Bertha is human. What it was, whether beast or human being, one could not, at first sight, tell: it grovelled, seemingly, on all fours; it snatched and growled like some strange wild animal: but it was covered with clothing, and a quantity of dark, grizzled hair, wild as a mane, hid its head and face. Bertha is not completely animalistic, as she does realize that Jane and Rochester are getting married, and gently warns the couple by setting fire to Rochesters bed and tearing Janes wedding veil. The reaction is obviously overblown and reinforces the degree of her madness, but one cannot help but wonder if her reasoning is justified. Rochesters folly in Jamaica of marrying a promiscuous Creole debutante should not result in perpetual frustration and suffering for the trio. Seeing as it has, the best way to deal with the situation should have been a prompt divorce as soon as symptoms of malaise arose. All we can do at this point is wonder what could have been, and lament this sad unfolding of events.

Representation and Comment #3

Charlotte Brontes Jane Eyre discusses and examines various topics, one of the most prominent being religion and its value. Framing this discussion through Janes personal religious evolution provides a method for a semi-Socratic dialogue to cause the reader to reflect on the topic.

Before Jane enters the boarding school at Lowood, her life is not particularly pleasant. Because all she is really familiar with is abuse at the hands of her adoptive family, she grows up to be a very cynical and judgemental ten year old. {QUOTE}. Why would an orphan living in such harsh conditions without real exposure to kindness and love believe in those things? However, as Jane matures, so do her religious views. At Lowood, she endures other forms of hardship and abuse by the standards of today, but she has a new friend: Helen Burns. Unearthly and serene in the face of cruelty and neglect, Helen becomes Janes buoy and role model. Initially critical of and confused by Helen, Jane regards her with a certain degree of cynicism. {quote}.

Janes emphasis on establishing spiritual (as well as intellectual) equality with her employer (and later husband) Mr. Rochester make her a very empowered woman for her time.

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