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A Young Jane Eyre Characterized Essay

851 words - 3 pages

Jane Eyre, the female protagonist of Charlotte Bronte’s Jane Eyre, begins the novel as a ten-year old orphan living with her aunt in Victorian England. As an orphan, Jane gains very few happy experiences with her cousins—John, Georgina, and Eliza Reed—and her aunt—Mrs. Reed, and she has even fewer privileges in the Gateshead estate where she is viewed as “less than a servant [because] she does nothing for her keep” (14). However, Jane, for a youth of barely ten years, clearly communicates an intrinsic dream to find a community in which she not only feels loved and respected, but also finds that she can act independently of this community. Unfortunately, these desires work against the conventions of society that would rather see Jane be “kept humble” (36) and utilized “properly” according to her class. Nevertheless, Jane Eyre’s precise articulation, effective assimilation will help her conquer society’s conventions and gain a sense of individualism.

Clarity in thought and words has always been a desired characteristic—and during the Victorian Era, society viewed articulate statements as a necessary skill for the advancement within a social class. The first time the reader notices just how well thought out Jane’s statements are, is when Mr. Lloyd—Mrs. Reed’s apothecary—is giving Jane “a lecture” (25). When Mr. Lloyd requests to know why Jane is so unhappy, Jane has the restraint to “frame [an] answer” (26) before she spoke. She understands that at her age, she is not able to fully analyze and express her feelings. Therefore, she calmly starts, “For one thing I have no father or mother, brothers or sisters” (26). Further, into this conversation Mr. Lloyd questions Jane to see if she would want to go to school. But before speaking she muses at the statements made earlier by John Reed and Bessie, and rationalizes that schooling would “be a complete change” (27), “an entire separation from Gateshead, [and] an entrance into a new life” (27). Again, after thinking about what she will say, she simply replies, “I should indeed like to go to school” (27). Lastly, when given the opportunity to defend herself of a falsehood, Jane restrained herself to make the “most moderate—most correct” (73) response lacking the “gall and wormwood than ordinarily” (73): making her defense more creditable and maintaining social poise. With a dialogue devoid of illogical passion, Jane Eyre not only appears to have the ability to express what she is thinking, but she also has an aspiration for others to understand and respect her. Serving her...

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