February 20, 2014
Word Count: 1051
The Importance of Miss Temple
In the novel Jane Eyre, written by Charlotte Bronte, one reoccurring motif is the idea of Jane, the protagonist, needing a motherly figure to guide her. From the very beginning it is obvious that Jane is an orphan without any real motherly figure, so she finds a few people to fill this void in every environment she is placed in. The major substitute mother is a woman named Miss Temple in which Jane meets at the Lowood Institution. Miss Temple dramatically helps Jane along her journey and comforts her in a way that only a mother could.
Miss Temple can be described as the nondiscriminatory woman superintendent of Lowood. During their very first meeting Jane claims how she is "impressed by her voice, look and air" (180). Helen, another student that Jane befriends at Lowood, describes Miss Temple as being "above the rest, because she knows far more than they do" and "overall good and very clever"(221). Having Helen describe Miss Temple this way speaks volumes because she herself is very fair-minded and admirable towards Jane. Miss Temple's strongest quality is her ability to be a role model from the girls, this quality is depicted by Jane as "considerable organ of veneration, for I yet retain the sense of admiring awe with which my eyes traced her steps" (216).
When Jane is at at Lowood, Miss Temple is constantly showing her genuine kindness for the students. A big moment of her kindness is when the girls did not want to eat the burnt porridge that was given to them one morning and so she ordered a lunch with cheese and bread to be served to them for lunch. Mr. Brocklehurst did not like this act done by Miss Temple, and she probably knew that it would be frowned upon but knew it was the right thing to do. She stood up for the girls no matter what that would mean for herself. She saw right through Brocklehurst and just wanted to be fair to the children as much as she could. Miss Temple's Christianity and overall attitude towards Jane contrasts with that of Mr Brocklehurst.
Mr. Brocklehurst is the contradicting overseer of the institution and causes emotional distraught towards Jane, whereas Miss Temple motivates Jane with "precept and example" (180). Mr. Brocklehurst is a man who made a point to have nothing nice given to the Lowood students (including proper food and water), while later allowing his wife and children to visit the school decked out in glamorous attire. His overall hypocritical and mean spirit limited Jane in believing in not only herself, but also in the good of adult figures. The differences between Miss Temple and Mr. Brocklehurst aiding to Jane’s life are abundant and obvious....