Chapter one of Charlotte Bronte’s Jane Eyre
- Pages: 5
- Word count: 1250
- Category: Eyre
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Jane Eyre is a young girl of ten. She has been left with the Reeds who are relatives of her family. Head of the family is Master John Reed who is a fourteen year old boy and he continually bullies Jane. He is the heir to the family’s wealth. He has two sisters, one called Eliza (Lizzy for short) and one called Georgiana (Georgie for short). In charge of the family at this time is “Mama. ” Charlotte Bronte uses first person narration when telling the story through Jane. This has the effect of allowing us to see things from Jane’s point of view, although perhaps just how the writer thinks Jane would feel at this time.
Jane offers us a description, “the cold winter wind had brought with it clouds so sombre and rain so penetrating, that further outdoor exercise was now out of the question,” and her feelings, ” I trembled at the thought of being dragged forth by the said Jack. ” We get to see things as she seen them and experience things as she did. “I fell, striking my head against the door and cutting it. The cut bled, the pain was sharp: the terror was passed its climax: other feelings succeeded. ” Clearly the author is able to enlist our sympathy more directly by using this technique.
In the opening sentence, the writer makes us feel sympathy for Jane by saying, “There was no possibility of taking a walk that day. ” This is because of the weather, which is dull and wet. Charlotte Bronte is using the setting to enlist the sympathy of the reader. The mood of this passage is determined from the outset from Jane’s description of the winter weather. “Leafless,” “Cold winter wind,” and “Chilly” all convey an uncomfortable, chilling mood. Jane has a series of unpleasant experiences, which are mirrored by the weather. She finds herself in a hostile household that finds an echo in the hostile weather conditions.
The inner turmoil, which she must feel by the end of the chapter, is already predicted by the storm outside. The lack of affection or loving human contact is suggested in the cold conditions outside where words like “raw,” “cold,” “hail,” and “lamentable” are used. When it comes to dinner, Jane is left out and only Mrs Reed’s own children are allowed to dine at the same table as her. We feel sympathy for Jane here as she is left on her own, but we feel better for her as she finds herself a seat by the window and a book to read. She feels sheltered from the rest of the family as she is hidden behind a curtain.
When Jane asks Mrs Reed about what Bessie says she has done, Mrs Reed says, “Jane, I don’t like cavillers or questioners. ” Mrs Reed is just picking on Jane here and giving her a hard time and then using Bessie to justify it. Here we feel sympathy for Jane as she has done nothing wrong but she still is not allowed the same privileges as the rest of the family, it is simply because she is not one of Mrs Reed’s children. We feel sympathy for Jane as it is not her fault that she is in the position she is. After dinner, Master John Reed comes looking for Jane, but because she is hidden from view by the curtain, he cannot see her.
He is not the brightest and so he tells Georgie and Lizzy she is not there, Lizzy immediately points out to her that she is in the window seat, behind the curtain. Jane says, “I trembled at the thought of being dragged forth by John. ” As this is in the first person tense, it shows how Jane is feeling and therefore we feel sympathy for her because she feels threatened by him. He bullies her further by saying that he wants her to come to him. John’s physique was much greater than Jane’s and he was fourteen – four years older than Jane. The writer says, “John had not much affection for his mother and sisters, and he had an antipathy for me.
He bullied and punished me, not two or three times in the week, nor twice in a day, but continually. ” Here the writer is trying to make the reader feel sorry for Jane by telling us how she is bullied and punished by someone to which she can do nothing. She says that every nerve she had feared him. Again this makes us feel sorry for Jane. Everyone in the house fears John Reed, even the servants, and therefore they all would definitely take his side in a dispute between him and Jane. He could pretty much do as he wanted, regardless of what anyone thought.
I think this is because he is the heir to the family’s wealth and he is the ‘man’ of the house. John Reed uses this position to his advantage when bullying Jane. He punished Jane in Mrs Reed’s presence, but she was “Blind and deaf” on the subject. When Jane stood before Master John, he stuck his tongue out at her. This must have made Jane feel small and then she knew he’d soon strike. While waiting for the strike, she amused herself at his disgusting and ugly appearance. Then suddenly, without warning, he lashed out at her. He said, “That is for your impudence in answering Mamma, and for sneaking behind the curtain.
Jane obviously felt intimidated by him, and did not think of answering back. She was caring more about how to deal with the blow which would almost certainly follow the insult. We feel sympathy for Jane because there is neither nothing she can do to defend herself nor is there anyone she can turn to for help. She is on her own. John Reed then starts questioning Jane about why she was behind the curtain and made her prove she was reading a book. When she did, he just said, “You have no business taking our books. You are a dependant, Mamma says. ” This must be the worst verbal abuse he gives Jane, saying she is a dependant.
This would make Jane feel as if she really wasn’t wanted and that she was just a parasite. He then tells her to stand away from all windows and mirrors and then he hurled the book at her. She fell and hit her head. The writer tells us that the pain was sharp and the terror had passed its climax. Jane started telling him how he was a tyrant and a slave driver. John said he will tell Mamma, but before that, he runs at her. He grabbed her hair. He forced her to the ground and Jane does not know what is happening or what she is doing, but she manages to force him off.
Georgie and Lizzy had run for Mrs Reed and when she came upon the scene she took John’s side and had Jane taken upstairs to be locked in the red-room. The whole account is very sad and it grasps the reader. You can’t help feeling sorry for Jane, but this is only one side of the story. Perhaps this is biased and that it is only what the writer thought would be going through Jane’s mind at the time. I think though that this is a good account of the story and that Jane really was being treated unfairly by the family and especially Master John.