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Through what influences and in what ways does Jane mature during her stay at Gateshead and Lowood

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Jane had many influences during her stay at both Gateshead and Lowood. She matures in her own way greatly through her times there. During the first chapter of the novel, before she is sent to the ‘Red Room’, Jane is clearly not a practical ten year old. “I was glad of it: I never liked long walks” Compared to her cousins, Eliza, John and Georgiana Reed, Jane is considered unsociable and un-childlike. Jane is a more advanced individual although she never had been to school, she read broadly as she did not like to be outside in the cold.

When Jane is banished by Mrs Reed from the company of the Reed children, instead of arguing back like a normal child of her age, Jane stays calm and collected and asks Mrs Reed a simple question:- “What does Bessie say I have done? ” Mrs Reed answers her without an explanation and turns it around to make it look as though Jane is being troublesome, but Jane shatters these assumptions as she stays calm, leaves the Reeds and goes into the breakfast room to read. When Mrs Reed sends Jane to the ‘Red Room’ after her conflict with

John Reed, Bessie and Abbot try to take her, but Jane resists them, she believes that she is being punished unfairly and kicks and screams at them all the way. This is the start of a radical change in the way Jane acts. She starts to realise that she does not deserve to be treated the way she is and wants to change peoples actions towards her. After the incident with the “Red Room”, Bessie has a change of heart towards Jane, realising she is only a child and is unfairly treated. This shows Jane that people are capable of being nice to her and she hould be treated differently to what she was before.

When Jane thinks about leaving Gateshead to go to school she knows of the goings on there from what Bessie had told her and from John Reed. But she still finds a good side to it: – “Besides, school would be a complete change: it implied a long journey, an entire separation from Gateshead, an entrance into a new life. ” Jane thinks that no matter how bad school could be, it will always be better than living at Gateshead with her Aunt and cousins and so many people that treated her badly.

But when Jane is asked if she had family from her father’s side and whether she would like to live with them, she refuses, as she does not want to live a poor life; she values education and the higher-class way of living over happiness and love. Jane learnt a lot from living at Gateshead though mostly about how she should be treated as a person. Lowood Institute: the name suggests that Jane’s time here will not be good. However, Jane looks forward to going to school and getting away from Gateshead and the Reeds.

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