Bronte Does Not Entirely Present Jane Eyre as the Innocent Victim in the Opening Chapters of the Novel. Essay

1026 WordsDec 10, 20125 Pages
“Bronte does not entirely present Jane Eyre as the innocent victim in the opening chapters of the novel.” Discuss “What does Bessie say I have done?” The character of Jane Eyre is likely to be thought as the innocent victim in her current situation however in reality she very deliberately feeds into the fire of controversy that is her life with the Reeds at several points throughout the opening chapters of the novel. This particular quote is taken from the very birth of chapter 1 in a scene in which Bessie has told Mrs Reed that Jane has done something worthy of discussion. This then results in Jane reciprocating with such a “truly forbidding” quote. As a girl of only 10 years of age such remarks of attitude would likely express a great deal of disrespect for the guardian in reality; however I believe in the novel Bronte has used this quote to suggest Jane is far from innocent yet suggesting she’s very brave and mentally strong in confronting her elders. Bronte in majority has portrayed Jane Eyre to be a character of positivity and innocence through the characters manner, speech and idiolect. “What do you want, Master Reed,” words spoken from John Reed to Jane. As the cousin of Jane, it would likely be that John would lack neither the position nor the authority to brand the title of “Master” to Jane. I believe this shines Jane in a very innocent and discriminated light. Furthermore, if you travel a short distance through chapter 1 John Reed follows to state, “You have no business to take our books...you have no money...you ought to beg...I’ll teach you to rummage my bookshelves.” Such a quote instantly expresses aggressive emotion to the audience and paints a vivid painting of fear that is building within the character of Jane. The use of the word “our” suggests that although Jane is sleeping beneath the Reed’s roof she is neither considered a true family member

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