Jane Eyre Research Paper

827 Words4 Pages
It is public knowledge that Patrick Bronte had his children, including Charlotte, reading from young ages. With the Romantic Period lasting from approximately 1750 to 1850, it is no great stretch of the imagination to infer that Bronte would have been influenced by Romantic writers and, by right of such influence, Romantic writers’ views on children: that they are innately innocent, blind to society, at one with nature, and they have unique and valuable world views – and the young Jane Eyre is indeed a Romantic-era child. With her as a protagonist, readers are lead on to infer that at her heart, she is inherently a holder of these traits. She is wildly interested in “the rock standing up alone in a vast sea of billow and spray”, she “formed…show more content…
She is a Romantic child – and thus it so follows that the inherent innocence must be a part of Jane as well. With this darling, romantic ideal of children in mind, readers are then treated to Jane being “dispensed from the group”, named “Madam Mope” and struck by John Reed. It is harrowing and it is distressing, and it is aided by the split perspective between adult and child. The adult Jane uses the word ‘dispensed’ to fold things nicely into a sarcastic summation of the Reeds’ actions. She is both aware and light; she is demonstrative. This, then, jumps to the child’s perspective. Jane refers to her “physical inferiority”, denoting her own self-loathing: there is to her physical proof that she is worse than the Reeds – and then the bolshie young woman disappears, to reveal to the Romantic-era readers a lost little girl in receipt of little affection. She is punished for her own innocence by the spoilt Reed children and the…show more content…
A direct turntable in 1848 to the postmodern reviews of the present day, this comment from Rigby on Jane suggests that Rigby – far from believing Jane to be inherently innocent – believes her to be inherently nasty, not even deigning to refer to her as a person. Perhaps Rigby is correct. The reader sees Jane ask the young John Reed “What do you want?” Though John Reed is painted in a villainous light for correcting her, it would have been a social expectation of Jane to refer to him as ‘Master’. Regardless of whether such behaviour would be acceptable now, it would not have been acceptable in the context of Victorian expectations. It underlines rudeness and insolence within young Jane. With this in mind, the reader can take this as part of a portfolio of hard evidence that Jane is not inherently innocent. Nor, as evidenced by her being “glad of” not going on an afternoon walk, is she at one with nature. Jane Eyre is not a romantic era child. She is being punished for her insolence, not her innocence. In this way, having her “dispensed” from the group is not unjust punishment – it is punishment for the insolence that she has exhibited and is a rightful one, similar somewhat to the naughty step these days, or losing a

More about Jane Eyre Research Paper

Open Document