Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte "Jane Eyre" by Charlotte Bronte traces the development of a girl from
childhood at Gateshead to adulthood at Ferindean. We see Jane's lonely
and traumatic life and we are made to feel sympathy for her. Bronte
makes us feel sympathy for Jane throughout the novel by using a number
of literary techniques, which is achieved by methods such as
characterisation, narrative viewpoint, the Reed family, language and
direct speech. We see and admire Jane's courage and her brilliant
imagination. She is a likeable person because she maintains strength
of character and rebellion throughout her suffering, which is unique
for a woman at that period.
We develop a closer relationship with Jane as the novel is written in
the first person narrative. This is very important for creating
sympathy for Jane as Jane pours out her thoughts and feelings so we
know exactly what she is thinking and feeling. It gives us a greater
insight into Jane's character and gives the story a sense of
reliability and credibility as we believe what Jane tells us.
Charlotte Bronte uses nature as a sympathetic background. The weather
is miserable, cold and wet to reflect the cold, hostile atmosphere
"â€¦ the cold winter had brought with it clouds so sombre and a rain so
Right from the first few paragraphs it is made clear that Jane is an
outsider and also humbled by the consciousness of her "physical
inferiority to Eliza, John and Georgiana Reed."
We see that Jane has been excluded from the family group and that her
appearance contributes to her exclusion because she is not as
attractive as the other children. This makes us sympathise with her
and understand how she must feel. Mrs Reed tells her that she really
must exclude her from privileges only intended for contented, happy
little children. The language she uses towards Jane is very harsh and
unfeeling especially when directed at an orphaned ten year old.
"Jane, I don't like cavillers or questioners: besides, there's
something truly forbidding in a child taking up her elders in that
manner. Be seated somewhere, and until you can speak pleasantly,
When Jane hides behind the curtain to read, she feels "shrined in
double retirement." She feels safe; she has "cocooned" herself away
from the awful treatment she has to endure. We empathise with her here
because to feel safe she has to hide where no one is around. This
makes us realize how intense her feelings of inferiority and
alienation must be. Nature is again used to convey these feelings.
"I studied the aspect of that winter afternoon. Afar, it offered a
pale blank of mist and cloud; near, a scene of wet lawn and storm -
beaten shrub, with ceaseless...