Essay, Research Paper: Jane Eyre By Charlotte Bronte

Literature: Jane Eyre

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Title: Jane Eyre Author: Charlotte Bronte Genre: fictional novel Setting: 19th
century England, Yorkshire Moors Point of View: first person Narrator: Jane Eyre
telling it as an adult flashing back to her childhood CHARACTERS: Jane Eyre:
Jane is the orphaned daughter of a poor parson and his disinherited wife. She
lives at Gateshead Hall in the care of her aunt, Sarah Gibson Reed. She is
lonely and depressed here because she is abused emotionally and physically. She
later enrolls at Lowood, a boarding school for poor, orphaned girls. There, Jane
distinguishes herself in her classes and finds love and compassion through the
kindness of Ms. Temple and Helen. She eventually takes a position as a governess
to a little French girl, Adele Varens, the ward of Edward Rochester, the master
of Thornfield Hall. Jane and Rochester develop a mutual admiration and love for
each other. Their marriage plans are interrupted, however, and Jane flees to
Thornfield Hall. In the intervening year’s separation before their eventual
marriage, she establishes her independence. The two finally find happiness
together and produce a son. John Reed: The 14 year old who bullies Jane and is
spoiled by his mother. He is violent and abusive and is condescending in his
treatment in his treatment to Jane. Later in life, he reduces his mother to
poverty and dispair by leading a dissipated life. At the age of 23, he dies and
is rumored to have killed himself Eliza Reed The older daughter of the Reed
family. She is frugal to the point of being greedy. She keeps chickens, hoards
her eggs and chicken money, and lends it to he mother at a high interest rate.
When her mother lies on her deathbed, she cold-heartedly ignores her and devotes
herself to religion. After Mrs. Reed’s death she becomes a nun at a convent in
Lisle, France, and eventually rises to a position of Mother Superior, leaving
her fortune to the nunnery. Georgiana: The vain, self-indulgent beauty of the
Reed family. She is acrid and selfish (won’t let Jane play with her toys). She
accuses Eliza for ruining her plans to marry Lord Erwin Vere. She later goes to
London and marries a wealthy man. Aunt Sarah Reed: The mean-spirited widow of
Jane Eyre’s uncle who torments Jane at every opportunity. She is hypocritical
and feigns to Jane’s benefactress. Despite Jane’s attempt to make up for the
past, Mrs. Reed rejects Jane’s reconciliation and dies alone, and unloved.
Bessie Lee: The servant at Gateshead Hall who consoles Jane with treats from the
kitchen, Gulliver’s Travels, and sang her songs when she was excluded from the
family festivities, and visits Jane at Lowood. Bessie later marries Robert
Leaven, the coachman, has 3 children, and continues working for the Reed family.
Miss Abbot: The servant at Gateshead Hall who treated Jane condescendingly and
referred to her as a toad. Mr. Lloyd: The apothecary who treats Jane at
Gateshead. He perceives Jane’s unhappiness and thinks of solutions to her
problem: live with her father’s poor relatives or go to boarding school. Mr.
Brocklehurst: The head of Lowood School who interviews Jane. His grim,
hypocritical evaluation of Jane’s shortcomings follows her to Lowood where he
publicly labels her a liar. He is austere and preaches fire and brimstone;
however, his wife and daughters are luxuriously dressed. Helen Burns: The 14
year old motherless child from Northumberland. She befriends Jane at Lowood and
offers encouragement by word and example as the two friends endure the hardships
of school life. She is punished by Ms. Scatcherd to wear dirty clothes and
slattern across her forehead. On her deathbed, she anticipates contentment with
God and a reunion with Jane in heaven. Maria Temple: The superintendent and
music teacher at Lowood. She positively influences Jane by showing her kindness
and sympathy, and how to nurse her animosity. She later marries Rev. Mr. Nasmyth.
Edward Fairfax Rochester: After Rowland, Edward’s brother, receives the entire
Rochester family inheritance, Edward is tricked into marrying an insane woman
whom he barely knows. His love for Jane rekindles love, although his wife is
secretly locked up in a third story room of Thornfield. Following the death of
his wife, the loss of his home to a terrible fire, blindness, and the amputation
of his left hand, he is reunited with Jane at Ferndean, marries her, and
recovers enough vision in one eye to see their son. Blanche Ingram: The shallow
daughter of Lady Ingram who uses her glamour to lure Rochester toward a marriage
proposal. However, her enthusiasm for Edward fades when he discloses that his
fortune is not as large as he had thought. Celine Varens: The French mistress of
Mr. Rochester. Edward, however, broke of their affair after overhearing her
ridicule him to another man. Adele Varens: The child of Celine whom Edward
refuses to claim as his own daughter, but raises her as his ward at Thornfield
anyway. Her association with Jane Eyre, her governesses and friend, brings
happiness to both of them. Bertha Antoinette Mason Rochester: The daughter of a
West Indies planter who conceal her retardation and madness characteristic of
her mother’s side of the family and marries Edward, a son of her father’s
business partner. After 4 years, Edward takes her to Thornfield and locks her in
a room under the care of Grace Poole. She cleverly escapes from her keeper at
intervals and causes mischief. Aware that Rochester plans to marry Jane, Bertha
ignites Jane’s bed, then leaps from the roof to her death. Richard Mason: A
merchant and Bertha Mason’s brother. He visits Thornfield and suffers bitings
and stabbing from his sister. After learning of Jane’s engagement, he makes a
second visit to Thornfield and halts the wedding by announcing Edward’s
intention to commit bigamy. Grace Poole: A trustworthy employee at Thornfield
Hall whose position remains a mystery until Rochester reveals the existence of
his wife. Grace’s fondness of gin gives Bertha occasional opportunities to
wander around Thornfield and harm its residents. St. John Rivers: The overly
zealous minister of the parish at Morton He serves as the head of his family
after his father’s death and saves Jane from starvation. He attempts to
repress his passion for Rosamond Oliver, prepare himself for the mission fields
of India, and force Jane to marry him, and serve as his missionary assistant.
Jane refuses and St. John remains unmarried. John Eyre: Jane’s uncle; her
father’s brother. He is a self-made man who attempts to locate his niece,
Jane, in order to leave her his fortune after his quarrel with St. John’s
father makes it impossible foe him to leave his money to the Rivers children.
THEMES Preternatural Motif: Things can’t be explained according to nature or
natural event. * the story that Bessie told of Gytrassh * The ghost of Mr. Reed
in the red room * The recurring dream that Jane has of an infant wailing,
laughing. This is supposed to be a bad omen as Jane recalls Bessie’s dream
which results in the death of Bessie’s sister. After Jane’s dream, she hears
of John Reeds death. * Jane has a dream of her mother who tells her to “flee
temptation” She leaves before dawn with 20 shillings. She then takes a coach
to Whitcross. That was the farthest her money could take her. Realism: In
literature it is a manner of presentation that stresses an accurate even perhaps
factual presentation Of subjetal manner. The emphasis is on the rational. It
depicts accurately the human condition. It also presents ills of society. Ex:
treatment in schools- Bronte’s sister died because of this Ills of Society: *
prejudice against different classes This is revealed in the servant’s and the
Reed’s condescending treatment of Jane. She is considered inferior since she
is poor. This is revealed also when the apothecary is called in instead of a
doctor when Jane is sick The upper and lower class do not speak to each other.
Mr. Rochester tells Jane to sit quietly and speak only when spoken to. * child
abuse and neglect (seen by Mr. B and Mrs. Scatcherd) Jane-punished to stand on a
stool, called a liar Helen- wear dirty clothes, “slattern” * Mr. B orders
Julie Saverns curls to be cut “privation fosters the spirit” * poverty *
deprivation - depriving people of the basic necessities ( food, clothing ) *
burnt porridge, chilblains, lack of medical attention hypocrisy.
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