Jane Eyre Essay, Research Paper
In the novel Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte, we are introduced to Jane, the orphan protagonist of the story. When the novel first begins, she is an isolated, powerless ten-year old living with an aunt and her cousins whom do not like her. Jane feels alienated from the Reed family; therefore she spends much of her time alone. Jane is faced with two factors which are as follows: one, she is a girl, and two, she is poor. These two factors contribute to much of Jane s unhappiness, at least at this point in the book. Her class difference (she feels as though she is much different because of her constant humiliation and mental torture) translates into physical difference, and Jane feels that she is physically inferior to the Reed children. Her cousin John is an over-indulged only son, whom uses his greediness and haughtiness to bully Jane around. He describes Jane as being thick and unwholesome. Jane tends to deal with her problems by secluding herself from her cousins.
Books provide Jane with an escape from her unhappy situation. I think Jane enjoys reading because books feed her imagination, offering a vast world beyond the claustrophobia of Gateshead (the town in which the Reeds live). The only problem with Jane s reading is that John does not approve of Jane using their items. He claims that she has no business to take their books. Moreover, that she is dependent, his mother claims. He fusses at her for having no money and that because her father left her none she should beg, and should not live here with gentleman s children. This started a verbal fight, and it turned physical. John threw a book at Jane and she called him a murderer and a slave driver. Jane, of course, is blamed for the quarrel. As a punishment, she is banished to the red-room (this is a chamber where insane people are temporarily put). I think the author sent Jane to this red-room, because at this time Jane once again questions her social status. At this point in the book there are a lot of social castes and symbolism. I think Jane needs to leave the Reed s house, and go to Lowood where at least she can get an education. If she does not fit into society now, at least with an education she can make a place in this world for herself!