The Brave and the Fearless
Jane Eyre, by Charlotte Bronte, published in 1847, is a gothic novel about a very brave and fearless young woman named Jane. Jane is an orphan who had to go through many difficulties throughout her life. However, Jane was able to overcome these difficulties and succeed in life. She was independent and courageous throughout her journey. What makes Jane more incredible is that she was able to accomplish all this in the Victorian Era.
Women of the Victorian Era were treated with respect. However, their lives did differ from the men greatly. They did not have basic rights, like to own property or sue people. Most men viewed women as weak and having no ability to run a business. If a women attempted any sports or tried to find a job, they were frowned upon. The upper and middle class women spent most of their with their children at home. They also spend time sewing, throwing parties, and dressing nicely for their husband. The lower-class families did similar things as the upper and middle class women. However, if they were
extremely poor, they would need to work. This was the same situation with the children in the family. Sometimes kids would have to work as young as six years old to make sure everyone had food on the table. This shows how harsh the Victorian Era was and how your social class has a very big impact in your future.
In the beginning of the novel, Jane lives with her aunt and cousins, the Reeds, at Gateshead Hall. Her aunt, Mrs. Reed, dislikes Jane because of her family’s status. She seemed to have a low opinion on Jane’s mother, because she married below her social standing. From the very beginning of the novel, Bronte shows us what kind of character Jane has. Her cousin John, who is older and stronger than her, bullies and beats Jane. Jane then punches him back. She is held responsible for her actions and sent to the “red room” by her aunt. The red room is where her uncle died and Jane thinks she sees her uncle’s ghost.
When Jane wakes up, she is being treated by Mr. Lloyd, a kind man who acts as the family’s doctor. The next day, she gets invited to breakfast. However, there was a guest there. His name was Mr. Brockelhurst. Jane is introduced by Mrs. Reed and she tells Mr. Brockelhurst that Jane is a liar. Mr. Brockelhurst then promises Jane that he will inform everyone in the school that she is a liar and a bad girl. Soon afterwards, Jane is sent to attend the Lowood School.
Soon afterwards, Jane arrives at Lowood and she is introduced to her classmates and teachers. She immediately becomes friends with a girl named Helen Burns, a student that their teacher Miss Scratchier seemed really cruel toward. Through Helen, Jane learns that the Lowood School is a charity provided for orphan girls and that Mr. Brocklehurst is one of the supervisors of the school. Jane soon finds out the conditions in the school are very bad. The students there are meant to live...