How Impressions Does Charlotte Bronte Give About Childhood in Jane Eyre? Essay

2385 WordsApr 13, 201410 Pages
Charlotte Bronte depicts an accurate representation of childhood in Jane Eyre, and the social behaviour and relationships related to it, fitting with the social context of the time. Bronte uses the first section of the book to establish children receiving different treatments from different perspectives, i.e the class divide between the wealthy and poor. However, ultimately there are some recurring themes of childhood that seemed commonplace in the Victorian era, portrayed clearly in the novel. Throughout the first two parts of Jane's life, Bronte makes it clear that children were not particularly respected or valued as much by adults, in comparison to the like of adults treatment towards each other. Though Jane is quite clearly a bright and capable young girl, she rarely gets a chance to speak off her own will on many matters and is expected by Mrs Reed to keep quiet and stay obedient. There was an obvious lack of trust towards the most sensible child in the household and though Jane proves to be an acceptingly quiet and disciplined child, Mrs Reed still seems to disregard Jane as a nuisance and stirrer of trouble. A prime example is when Jane is crying out for help after enduring some sort of fit in the frightening room, and Mrs Reed calls her actions which were out of terror, 'violent' which was 'repulsive.' To use such harsh adjectives in reaction to Jane's cries for help seems inhumane, especially taking Jane's tender age of the time into consideration. To the reader, Jane was quite obviously going through a trauma that was unnecessary and subsequent to Mrs Reed's brutal punishment. Mrs Reed's cold reaction to Jane's fright causes the reader to view her as an unloving, evil character who's disregard for Jane will have made an impact on Jane's personality in the future; after all, she is still a developing child. On the other hand, it was a trend at that time

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