Cruelty In Jane Eyre Essay, Research Paper
In Charlotte Bront s Jane Eyre, cruelty and ill will are prevalent themes. Three of the characters affected by cruelty and ill will are Jane Eyre, Edward Rochester, and Bertha Antoinette Mason Rochester. Jane experiences malice from Mrs. Reed, her aunt, who repeatedly wishes to dispel all happiness from Jane s life. The family of Rochester victimizes him when they arrange his marriage to an insane woman in order to prevent splitting the family fortune. Bertha is the spouse of Rochester and undergoes much suffering because love does not bond their marriage. Cruelty, therefore, creates dramatic situations and causes varied emotions throughout the novel.
Mrs., Reed punishes Jane with cruelty because Mr. Reed, her husband, showed greater affection for Jane than for his own children. When Jane becomes a bother to her, she sends her to Lowood Institution, a crumbling, decrepit, and destitute school for girls. Mrs. Reed is aware that if she sends Jane to Lowood, she will suffer at the hands of Mr. Brocklehurst, the hardhearted superintendent. In order to ensure Jane s misery further, she informs Jane s only known relative that Jane has died when he offers to adopt her. Jane suffers at her aunt s hands when her aunt locks her in the room where her uncle died. Numerous other situations in which Mrs. Reed harms Jane exist; however, she maintains that she has harmed Jane only two times. The novel states,
Well, I have twice done you a wrong which I regret now. One was in breaking the promise which I gave my husband to bring you up as my own child; the other- -Go to my dressing-case, open it, and take out a letter you will see there. I obeyed her directions, Read the letter, she said. It was short, and thus conceived:- Madam, Will you have the goodness to send me the address of my niece, Jane Eyre, and tell me how she is: it is my intention to write shortly and desire her to come to me at Madeira. Providence has blessed my endeavours to secure a competency; and as I am unmarried and childless, I wish to adopt her during my life, and bequeath her at my death whatever I may have to leave. I am, Madam, etc., etc. John Eyre, Madeira. It was dated three years back. Why did I never hear of this? I asked. Because I disliked you too fixedly and thoroughly ever to lend a hand in lifting you to prosperity. (Bront 242)
Jane Eyre thus experiences cruel acts and ill will repeatedly at the hands of Mrs. Reed.
In their greed Edward Rochester s family arranges his marriage to Bertha Mason, a lunatic, in order that his older brother might inherit the family estate. After the marriage Rochester becomes aware of his wife s insanity and must lock her away to protect his name and ensure his safety. He must live without a companion and with no love. Several mistresses become his only source of compassion and he falls into a deep and lonely depression. When he ultimately does find a wife whom he loves, he is unable to marry her because of his marriage to Bertha. Through the marriage the family also keeps Edward…
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