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Jane Eyre and Social Class - Essay Example

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In the paper “Jane Eyre and Social Class” the author analyzes a lively and rigid character of a young girl who knows where to take a stand and who sticks to her moral values no matter what. Her life is divided into three sections, each of which unfolds new and unexplored aspects of her life…
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Jane Eyre and Social Class
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"Jane Eyre and Social Class"

Download file to see previous pages Since Jane Eyre was also from the lower class, she was treated brutally by many different people throughout her life. Initially, at Gateshead Hall, she is mistreated by John Reed who acclaims that the social class background of Jane Eyre gives him the right to abuse Jane Eyre. Once Jane Eyre leaves Gateshead, she expects a better life at Lowood School where she thought she would pursue her dreams, however here she is mistreated by Mr. Bocklehurst who continuously makes her realize that she is nothing but a rotten piece which deserves to be thrown. Also, when she is in love with Mr. Rochester, the social class issue again becomes a problem which stops her from marrying him. Lastly, when she arrives penniless at the door of Hannah, she is again treated like a doormat owing much to her lower social class. The novel also depicts the patriarchal patterns being dominant during the era, by portraying the male characters as being offensive towards Jane Eyre; however, Jane Eyre is a feminist who resists and continues being independent. Thus, the novel is a clear exhibition of the social issues dominant during the Victorian era.
Starting with the journey of Jane Eyre in the novel, she is an orphan who lives with the family of her maternal uncle, the Reeds. Here at Gateshead Hall, she is constantly mistreated by her aunt Reed and her children. Since Jane Eyre has no money and is dependent on Mrs. Reed, she naturally inherits the right to abuse Jane Eyre emotionally as well as physically. ...
"Now, I'll teach you to rummage my book-shelves: for they are mine; all the house belongs to me, or will do in a few years" (10), as quoted by Bronte, are the words of Mrs. Reed who is acclaiming that she will “teach” Jane Eyre, which indicates the offensive tone. Later, when she is abused to such an extent that she is left in a dark room where her uncle died, she suffers from trauma, after which she is allowed to attend Lowood School. Here at Lowood, she encounters Mr. Brocklehurst who is again a corrupt and brutal man. She constantly targets Jane Eyre for her lower class and tries to prove to the world how immoral and worthless Jane Eyre is. In her book, she Bronte quotes: This I learned from her benefactress; from the pious and charitable lady who adopted her in her orphan state, reared her as her own daughter, and whose kindness, whose generosity the unhappy girl repaid by an ingratitude so bad, so dreadful, that at last her excellent patroness was obliged to separate her from her own young ones..." (67). The phrase from the novel mentioned above depicts the bias of Mr. Brocklehurst as he distinguishes between Jane Eyre and Mrs. Reed based on the social class. According to him, “pious” and “charitable” are the traits associated with Reed and words such as “kindness” have been associated with her children, however adjectives such as “bad” and even “dreadful” have been used to carve out the character of Jane Eyre who is rather a source of disgust for her. Later, when Jane Eyre attempts to become independent by taking the job of a governess for Adele, a French girl, she comes across Mr. Rochester whom she falls in love with. Again, social class becomes a curse ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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