Jane Eyre

Jane Eyre

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ane Eyre is a story filled with many forms of abuse and bad customs. In this essay I will bring you close to these. I will point out tyrants and abusers that Jane faces throughout her life. Jane Eyre Is also filled with hypocrisy and I will expose that. The suffering that Jane endures will be discussed. The book Jane Eyre starts out very powerful. Our first meeting of Jane is at Gateshead. Jane is an orphan who is being taken care of by Mrs. Reed her aunt by marriage. There is no love for Jane here; not only that the only thing here for Jane is abuse. “Why was I always suffering, always browbeaten, always accused, forever condemned?”(Pg.11) Keep in mind that this girl is only 10 years old. She is all alone. She is on her own. “I was a discord in Gateshead Hall; I was like nobody there”(Pg.12) Within the First ten pages we learn of the harshest abuse Jane has to face in the book. The infamous “Red Room.” Jane is sent to the “Red Room” after a dispute with John. John is Mrs. Reeds favorite, but he is a little tyrant. The foul part is that Jane was injured by him and she got punished. The reason the “Red Room” seems scary is that it is the room Mr. Reed passed away in. “ And I thought Mr. Reed’s spirt, harassed by the wrongs of his sister’s child, might quit its abode.” So Jane feels that his spirit is present and her harassment of him might keep him from showing himself.” As Jane sits in the “Red Room” a shadow of some kind begins to move about the wall like a dancer. Jane starts to worry to the point that her mind becomes overwhelmed and she passes out. When she wakes up, she begs Bessie and Miss Abbot the help to let her out. They run to Mrs. Reed to tell her of Jane’s high fever. As the sunsets a new found factor of worry is thrown at Jane. It becomes evident that she may not make it through the night. Mr. Lloyd the doctor arrives to tend to Jane, and he recommends that Jane attend a school called Lowwood. Jane makes it through the night but her abuse and torments have just begun. She will soon face a monster and a tyrant far worse than that of young John known as Mr.

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Brokelhurst. He is a bad and abusive part of Jane’s life. He quotes biblical scripture to instill fear amongst the young girls in Lowwood. Jane has no voice she can’t be heard. It is as if her lips are supposed to be super glued for ever. Why? All because she is a little orphan girl in sexist and times of social caste. And she is at the bottom of the system. And there is no way of climbing up. If Jane was born in modern times her devotion and her voice would probably land her a high job for a powerful business company or maybe a high job in parliament changing women’s rights. No instead it has landed her in a situation where she will get more abuse if she even thinks. Left in this situation Jane still manages to have hope and will. She even finds a friend Helen Burns. Helen’s character serves in the story to teach Jane about social conformities. Helen endures the abuse and has grown quite custom to it. But even with Helen Jane still felt trapped at Lowwood. “Ardently I wished to die.”(Pg. 58). Helen still continued to be Jane’s companion and partner. Up instill the dreadful news of her death. Let down after let down Jane is faced with. First her parents, then the cruel and wicked Mrs. Reed and her evil little children, the evil tyrant Brokelhurst, and now the only person Jane has even entertained herself with and thought of liking is gone to. Jane doesn’t seem that effected by it though in fact the next eight years in Lowwood passes by in a flash. True examples of Jane’s options of roles in life are evident when she leaves Lowwood and when she’s looking for a new job. She thanks God for granting her another place of servitude. By this she means new chance to serve because in those times that is all women were for. She was to be the new governess at Thornfield and she would serve little Miss Adele. Servitude is not for Jane what happened to the little girl with a voice, hopes, and dreams. I’ll tell you what happened cruel social and religious customs got the best of her. Jane was forced to conform . . . Or was she. Religious and social conformities are two things that play a major role as themes in Jane Eyre. Jane defies both of them. She is a woman of the 1920's in the middle of 19th century England. Jane is about women’s rights. “ It is in vain to say human beings ought to be satisfied with tranquillity: they must have action; and they will make it if they cannot find it. Millions are condemned to a stiller doom than mine, and millions in silent revolt against their lot. Nobody knows how many rebellions besides political rebellions ferment in the masses of life which people earth. Women are supposed to be very calm generally: but women feel just as men feel; They need exercise for their faculties and a field for their efforts as much as their brothers do; they suffer from too rigid restraint, too absolute a stagnation, precisely as men would suffer; and it is narrow-minded in their more privileged fellow-creatures to say that they ought to confine themselves to making puddings and knitting stockings, to playing on the piano and embroidering bags. It is thoughtless to condemn them, or laugh at them, if they seek to do more or learn more than custom has pronounced necessary for their sex.”(Pg. 93) By this she is saying that she feels that women are equal to men. Jane does not bite her tongue just because she is a woman or younger. For Jane feels that her voice must be hidden or stopped. Jane feels that her word should have just as much meaning as that of a king. She feels that her point is just as valid as that of a man’s. So she says what is on her mind. But the reason she tells us what is on her mind isn’t because women should have rights; it is because she is honest. Jane will not lie about her feelings no sometimes it can be the exact opposite; she may be too honest.
     Jane’s honesty seems to surprise Mr. Rochester Jane’s new employer. Mr. Rochester takes a liking to it nonetheless. The first impression Jane makes on Mr. Rochester are that she is witty and keen. For he starts off by committing on her appearance. He comes across as sexist in the introduction to his character. He also realizes that she will not take the crap that most people will. He tests her to see how much she will take. “ As to the thoughts they are elfish.”(Pg.108) Is Mr. Rochester’s response to Jane’s paintings. Even though he comes across as rude and judging he takes a liking to Jane. And despite his rude comments and his harsh approach Jane still takes a
fondness to him. Only time will tell how Jane and Mr. Rochester’s feelings toward each other builds. Who knows maybe a relationship is in store for them.
     Another form of cruelty in the story Jane Eyre is hypocrisy. From the very moment that we come into contact with her she seems to be surrounded by hypocrites. The first display is when Jane is being chastised by Ms. Reeds son, and instead of Ms. Reeds son being punished it is Jane who is sent to the red room. The cruel punishment she endures in the red room is not at all what a ten-year-old girl should be subject to. The stresses of the room cause her body an overload and she faints. Ms Reed hypocrisy is over with though because she relinquishes custody of Jane. From here on out she is in the custody of Lowwood school master Mr. Broklehurst.
     Mr. Brokelhurst is a hypocrite in the worst way. He heads a school that houses orphans. The first impression he makes is definitely a bad one. The first thing he says to Jane is that little girls aren’t to be rude. He gives her a book on what happens to rude children after they die. He tells her that her behavior will land her in Hell. He uses the bible for his scare tactics.
Lowwood is not a breeze or a luxury. The food is terrible. In the morning they a fixed a bowl of cold porridge. When even a teacher at the school said this, was unacceptable and was going to give the kids some thing else to eat Mr. Broklehurst said no. His reason for this was that these girls should be less fortunate in this life so in there next than can enjoy the rewards. Broklehurst sees a girl in the school with beautiful curly red hair. What does he do he tells one of the caretakers to cut it? He says these girls shouldn’t look pretty. But his own daughter wears silk dresses and he wears expensive suits. Then he has the nerve to dare talk about Christians should feel and know humility.

Jane is angry when Helen is beaten for something she didn’t do. Jane is angry because she was beaten for a stupid reason. Jane feels that children shouldn’t be beaten. The only thing is that Jane is in a period where kids don’t have a voice. Kids are only to talk when spoke to. Jane is looked at as unruly because she uses her mind. But didn’t God make her that way. Jane has a mind only if.
The people in this book try to base themselves around God and the Bible. But they treat Jane as Christ was treated. Jane seems like she is Jesus. I mean she goes against the teachings of the time. But undoubtedly is right. Hopefully she will not be persecuted for her beliefs. These people’s base their selves around the word of God and the teachings Jesus yet they are to blind to see Jane. Her struggles are that which Jesus faced. Maybe she will keep opening eyes through her life with her struggle.

From Ms. Reed to Broklehurst the hypocrisy runs deep. This book is outlined in it through religion and everyday life. So Jane must face hypocrisy and cruel social and religious customs. Mr. Rochester seems to be becoming fond of Jane’s presence. Social class conflicts would prevent any joining of them. See in England in that day and age there was no room for even the thought of a poor peasant marrying or falling in love with a prince. The extent of
these thoughts were used in a mere fairy tells. But Cinderella eloping in endless enchanted love with the prince in reality just isn’t a feasible out come for that time period. I
mean there were instances that lovers ran off and got married but they were looked at as outcast. Just as women with a voice were. So Jane’s growing emotions for Rochester would just be another thing that would separate her from societies and custom. She tells us “I had not intended to love him: the reader knows I had wrought hard to extirpate from my soul the gems of love there detected; and now, at the first renewed view of him, they spontaneously revived, green and strong”(Pg 149) See she tells us that she tried to stay
away from this love. For she felt it was forbidden in a sense, or some thing that she was not to have. As if it were the apple and she was eve. But will love have its way or will Jane conforms to society. Only time will tell. “‘He is not to them what he is to me,’ I thought: ‘ he is not of their kind. I believe he is of mine; I am sure he is, I feel akin to him, I understand the language of his countenance and movements; though rank and wealth sever us widely, I have something in my brain and heart, in my blood and nerves, that assimilates me mentally to him.” Right there Jane is stating that she feels a connection between herself and Rochester. She feels this connection is stronger than any custom wether it be religious or social can stop her love. Even a huge age difference did not stop her. “
there are twenty years of difference in your ages. He mighty almost be your father.”(Pg. 225) Even with this said to her she continues to feel that love is blind to age and custom.
But even after stating this she still feels resistant. When saying that I mean she doesn’t charge into her new found love. Instead she is still resistant. But she does succumb to this feeling of love. Yes she does they were to be married. The wedding was far along till it happened. “‘Wilt thou have this woman for thy wedded wife? When a distinct and near voice said: ‘The marriage cannot go on: I declare the existence of an impediment.’ (Pg.246) Once again it has happened to Jane. She is being let down. Why though is the real question. “It simply is the existence of another wife.”(Pg.247) Jane cannot bear to hear the words of Rochester and she is taken over by shock. She felt betrayed and lost. She looks to the guidance of one who is more than a man. In fact she looks to the source of man in her eyes himself. “I did what human beings do instinctively when they are driven to utter extremity . . . look for the aid to one higher than man: the words ‘God help me! ’burst involuntarily from my lips.”(Pg.259) Jane looks to God even though she has had a damned life thus far. She respects Gods laws and authority and in Gods eyes she cannot be with a man that already has a wife. “ I will keep the law given by God; sanctioned by man.
I will hold to the principles are not for the times where there is no temptation.” In a last attempt to keep Jane by his side he says very foolish things. They were cruel comments that may have ripped through Jane. One thing that is certain it is what drew her to the decision that she must leave. Mr. Rochester says “Who in the world cares for you? Or who will be injured by what you do?” Jane is truly taken by his cruel words. She responds “I care for myself” It is in those words that Jane made the decision to leave. “ I kissed his cheek; I smoothed his hair with my hand. ‘God bless you, my dear master!’ ‘God keep you from harm and wrong... direct you, solace you... reward you well for your past kindness to me.’ But Jane will give me her love: yes... nobly, generously.’ ‘Fair well!’ was the cry of my heart as I left him. Despair added, Fair well forever.’”(Pg.272) The stress of leaving Rochester and Thornfield mad sleep uneasy. “I dreamt I lay in the red-room at Gateshead; that the night was dark, and my mind impressed with strange fears.”(Pg.272) She even heard a voice callout “ ‘my daughter, flee temptation!’ as she responded ‘Mother I will.’”
She Leaves but returns many months later after her life does not work out away from Rochester. She comes into a fortune left in a will by her uncle. When she returns to Rochester she ends up marrying him and it is all happily ever after. Jane Eyre’s ending comes as a shocking surprise to readers like myself. Readers who have been with Jane since her youth as Gateshead. Those who have felt her pain, shed her tears, and read her story. Those of us who saw not a stubborn unruly orphan as Mr. Reed said in the beginning. We saw a child with a voice. One who needed love and affection. One who sought not to break the rules but only wished to merely change those which were abusive. She was 10 ears old with the mind set of one whose age was much greater than hers. Though we often felt the cold of her dark times, there were times when the heat from the light ones brightened our faces as we read with our eyes. We journeyed to Lowwood and encountered a tyrant or monster of sorts by the name of Brokelhurst. We stuck with her through those years and up until she left. When she left Lowwood we were on the same bandwagon. We ventured to her new place of servitude. She feel in love with him. Even though he was twenty years her senior. We accepted this new Mr. Rochester with open arms just as she did. Just like her we were taken by deceit. And when the day came for her to be married we accomponied her. The words “It is simply the existence of another wife.” crushed our hearts just as it must have Jane’s. We even took the trip with her into nowhere. Survial was hard. She arrived at a doorstep. We hopped they would let her in. The fighter in Jane lived on as she turned down St. John. We were very happy for her. But it is now that she has returned to Rochester that we wonder the question. Did Jane truly conform? I feel that she did not conform to society or religious customs. No she did not. She did though conform though. Jane conformed to something that no one can resist. The apple in her eye. The sun that gives her light. Her true love. Mr. Rochester. So just as we have been with her on her journey thus far. Our journey must go on. I know mine will.
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