Throughout the novel Jane Eyre by Charlott, as Jane moves from one physical location to another, the settings in which she finds herself changes many different times, and helps the plot of the story. The author Charlotte Bronte makes the most of this by carefully placing those settings to match the different situations Jane finds herself in at each place. As Jane grows older and her hopes and dreams change, the settings she finds herself in are perfectly similar to her state of mind, but her situations are always defined by the walls, real and imaginary, around her.
As a young girl, she is trapped in Gateshead. This house is almost her whole world. Her life as a child is sharply defined by the walls of the house. She is not made to feel wanted within them and continues throughout the novel to compare Gateshead with the emotional trauma of growing up under its "hostile roof with a desperate and embittered heart."
Gateshead is, so far as we can tell, a very nice house, though not much of a home. As John Reed likes to remind her, she is a dependent; she could not and has not contributed in a manner matching with their standard of living. She may well be a family member, and likely their peer socially, but the unfortunate circumstances of her mother’s unwanted marriage and her father’s lack of wealth leave her open to this petty bully, especially considering Mrs. Reed’s dislike for Jane. This is simply another situation over which she has no control but which regardless shapes her existence.
Jane is, a nine-year-old girl who has grown up in relative comfort physically but who is powerless in the extreme even for a culture that did not invest much power in grown women. Every aspect of life with the walls of Gateshead, as seen through Jane’s eyes, confirms this.
Jane she finds herself even more caged in than she suggests that she was at the beginning of the novel. Her fight with John Reed leaves her bleeding,...