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Girl Power: The Importance Of Female Relationships In Jane Eyre

1115 words - 5 pages

The novel starts begins with Jane’s childhood years at Gateshead, the home of the Reeds. At Gateshead, Jane is emotionally and physically abused by her aunt Mrs. Reed and her cousins. Mrs. Reed makes her dislike for Jane obvious by treating Jane like a burden and keeping children from interacting with Jane. In her absence, Mrs. Reed’s children, particularly John, continue to bully poor Jane. In the beginning of the novel, Jane defends herself against John, but this act ends up getting herself sent up to the red-room. In this red-room, Bronte shows how much those years of mistreatment affected Jane:
“Unjust!—unjust!” said my reason, forced by the agonising stimulus into precocious though ...view middle of the document...

She is angry and upset that she, who never does anything wrong, is being treated this way. The word resolve is capitalized, which gives it power. It makes Jane’s feelings about escape more serious and resolute. One of her means of escape is letting herself die. This extreme desire emphasizes the the level of desperation Jane feels. This paragraph demonstrates the negative effect of those years of mistreatment had on Jane. She is tired of injustice in her life and the weight of it is breaking her down. She is losing her ability to fight back and is on the verge of giving up.
The next paragraph highlights how Jane feels about her place at Gateshead. She calls herself a discord and notes her lack of harmony with anybody at Gateshead. This emphasizes how out of place Jane feels at Gateshead. She is not able to fit in or get along with anybody for reasons she talks about in the next sentences. She acknowledges her status as the “other” at Gateshead. She’s different from everyone else in the way she thinks and act. She can’t be sympathized with because she is “a heterogenous thing.” She is “a useless thing” for not being able to serve as entertainment for the Reeds. Then she makes her eccentricity more apparent by listing all the qualities she lacks: “sanguine, brilliant, careless, exacting, handsome, romping.” Jane points out her “defects” that she has that cause her to be the outsider of Gateshead. Finally, in the last line, she calls herself “the scapegoat of the nursery”. By applying negative labels to herself, Jane reduces herself to a victim. She feels that there is no point in trying to get someone to like her. She can’t change her personality, nor is she willing to. She also feels that there is no point even fighting back. At this point, nothing will change anyone’s opinion about her. So, Jane succumbs to the “temptation of victimization” (Rich 471) as Rich calls it, and is ready to act out the role of a victim rather than retaliate.
Despite suffering years of mistreatment, Jane comes out a rebellious, fiery, self-respecting young girl. This is due to her relationship Bessie, one of the maids of the manor. In the red-room, Jane’s passion comes to a climax, and she passes out from a...

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