Jane Eyre Analization Essay, Research Paper
Jane Eyre tells the story of a woman progressing on the path of acceptance, searching for approval and companionship. Throughout her journey, Jane encounters many obstacles to her intelligence. Male dominance proves to be the biggest obstruction at each stop of Jane’s journey: Gateshead Hall, Lowood Institution, Thornfield Manor, Moor House, and Ferndean Manor. As she grows, though, Jane slowly learns how to understand and control repression.
Jane’s journey begins at Gateshead Hall. Mrs. Reed, Jane’s aunt and guardian, serves as the biased arbitrator of the rivalries that constantly occur between Jane and John Reed. John emerges as the dominant male figure at Gateshead. He insists that Jane concede to him and serve him at all times, threatening her with mental and physical abuse. Mrs. Reed condones John’s conduct and sees him as the victim. Jane’s rebellion against Mrs. Reed represents a realization that she does not deserve the unjust treatment. Jane refuses to be treated as a subordinate and finally speaks out against her oppressors. Her reactions to Mrs. Reed’s hate appear raw and uncensored, and foreshadow possible future responses to restraints. This rebellion also initiates the next phase of her journey.
Lowood Institution represents the next step in Jane’s progression. Her obstacle here appears in the form of Mr. Brocklehurst, the operator of the “respectable” institution. He made his first appearance at Gateshead Hall in order to examine Jane and verify her evil qualities (according to Mrs. Reed). At Lowood, Mr. Brocklehurst is an example of the perfect hypocrite. He constantly preached for the denial of “luxury and indulgence” (53), though his values conflict with these ideas. His wife and daughters personify the meanings of luxury and indulgence in that “they were splendidly attired in velvet, silk, and furs” (54). He extends his hypocrisy in quoting bible passages to support his preachings, though these preachings and passages do not apply to his own life. He says, “I have a master to serve whose kingdom is not of this world: my mission is to mortify in these girls the lusts of the flesh, to teach them to clothe themselves with shamefacedness and sobriety, not with braided hair and costly apparel. . .” (54). Although she must learn to deal with Brocklehurst’s complete dominance, Jane changes a lot during her years at Lowood, due mainly to the teachings of Helen Burns and Miss. Temple. Through their instruction, Jane learns how to control her anger over Mr. Brocklehurst’s false accusations and understand her feelings without yielding to a vocal rebellion like the one prompted by Mrs. Reed at Gateshead.
Jane’s journey next brings her to Thornfield Manor. Mr. Rochester becomes the dominant male figure at this juncture. While in residence at Thornfield, Rochester demands undivided attention from the servants, Jane included. He insists on dominance in every aspect of his life, and he needs recognition for his superiority. Jane somehow…
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