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How Charlotte Bronte Uses The Different Houses In Jane Eyre

1365 words - 5 pages

How Charlotte Bronte Uses the Different Houses in Jane Eyre

In the novel Jane Eyre, Charlotte Bronte uses different locations in
particular different houses to produce a structural base for the story
and to provide a basis for Jane’s progression through life and the
changes she experiences. The houses are a background to the plot of
Jane Eyre that is the evolution of Jane from lonely orphan at
Gateshead into an established and well-developed character at Ferndean
who is Mr Rochester’s equal. Throughout the story Jane lives in many
houses all that are different in certain aspects but in some aspects
they are similar. One such aspect is that all the houses have a
dominant male in Gateshead it is John Read in Lowood it is Mr
Brocklehurst and at Thornfield even though she is equal to Mr
Rochester when they are alone when guests are present she must then
observe the social hierarchy which means Mr Rochester is dominant over
Jane.

Another similarity is that in each of different and contrasting houses
there is always an over all feeling of Jane being trapped and
constrained inside their walls. Jane is always fighting against the
dominant males in the houses as seen when she encounters John Reed and
calls him a murderer. She always rebels against the dominant male in
the household until she meets Rochester who is not only the dominant
male but also a kind and loving person. Apart from the dominant male
in each house there is also a kind guide such as Bessie in Gateshead
and Miss Temple in Lowood. There is one exception and this is in
Thornfield where Mr Rochester is both the dominant male and kind
presence in the house. In Jane Eyre houses play an important part in
shaping and forming the structure of the novel. The represent
important milestones in Jane’s progression through life.

When Charlotte Bronte was writing this novel the role of women was
below men which is very different from today in that Men ruled society
and women had little to say and this is represented in the fact that a
male in each house always dominates Jane. For an educated woman who
needed a job in Charlotte Bronte’s time the only respectable line of
work that she could get in to was the job of a governess. Charlotte
Bronte shows the reader that it is very hard for any one to move out
of their social group this demonstrated at Thornfield at Mr
Rochester’s party in which Jane is excluded. It is also expressed in
that Jane finds it hard to be Mr Rochester’s equal. Some events in
Jane are Autobiographical of Charlotte Bronte in that Helens death may
represents her sister’s death at school and Jane’s relationship with
Mr Rochester may represent Charlotte Bronte’s relationship with her
employer.

For Jane Gateshead is a place of torment and fear. Even the name
Gateshead represents a prison like place where she is trapped in. At
Gateshead Jane has no friends or even any kindness in her life; this
serves as a comparison to what Jane will...

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