Charlotte Bronte's Jane Eyre

3045 Words13 Pages
Charlotte Bronte's Jane Eyre

"There was no possibility of taking a walk that day....I was glad of

it; I never liked long walks, especially on chilly afternoons:

dreadful to me was the coming home in the raw twilight, with nipped

fingers and toes, and a heart saddened by the chidings of Bessie, the

nurse, and humbled by the consciousness of my physical inferiority to

Eliza, John, and Georgiana Reed."

So goes the opening to the novel 'Jane Eyre' by Charlotte Bronte. We

are immediately brought into the story; the scene has been set and

feelings exposed. As can be seen in this quotation, Bronte creates a

very friendly, easy opening, attempting to make an intimate

relationship with the reader. The characters most personal feelings

are openly displayed, this being very uncommon in 19th century novels.

In 'Jane Eyre' Bronte writes in the first person, giving the novel a

more autobiographical feel. These paragraphs also give us an example

of pathetic fallacy, a technique repeatedly used by Bronte throughout

the earlier chapters of 'Jane Eyre'. In addition to this we are shown

Jane's dislike, as a child and adult, of the Reed children and her

position and inadequacy in the Reed household; Gateshead.

The portrayal of life with the Reed family and Jane's whole childhood,

is one both cruel and fascinating. Bronte, through Jane's eyes and

thoughts, manages to convey life and the world from a child's

perspective, while still maintaining an adult's way of thinking. Jane

is very perceptive and intelligent, and this shown when she is faced

with John Reed. Her fear of him is immediately appears when he

interrupts her peace while she is reading, and she states how she

"trembled at the idea of being dragged forth" by him. As the readers,

we are shown how she must have been treated in such a way that she has

become fearful of her own cousins. Moreover, when John tells Jane to

refer to him as 'Master', we are shown how socially inferior and

insignificant she is to them, and is constantly being reminded of

this. Right from the beginning of the novel Jane's sense of loneliness

and isolation is evident form the way she hides herself behind thick

curtains in a deserted room, neglected by her cousins and aunt. The

description of John Reed given to us by Jane is extremely visual and

detailed and we are shown that, although of a young age, Jane is very

sensitive, alert and prudent of people and the world around her.

Mrs Reed, while remaining a minor character, becomes one of the most

influential people in Jane Eyre's life, although still not

More about Charlotte Bronte's Jane Eyre

Open Document