An Analysis of Charlotte Bronte's Jane Eyre

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Charlotte Bronte's Jane Eyre uses the blueprint of a Cinderella-like story: buildungsroman. The first eleven chapters reveal part of a buildungsroman through Jane's miserable beginnings at home, her harsh stages and trials at Lowood, and the application of her knowledge at an occupation. The life of Jane at Gateshead is more than dismal; it is anguish and torture. Jane is locked in the red room for hours at a time, left to visualize her own nightmares. She is deprived of the lavish belongings her cousins receive, and teased because of her poor looks. Jane's nurse-maid, Bessie, and Miss Abbot say that Jane is to be pitied. Abbot says that "…if she were a nice, pretty child, one might compassionate her forlornness; but one really cannot care for such a little toad as that" (Bronte 21). After many horrid experiences, she is determined to excel at Lowood. The school should be a clean slate for Jane, but her misfortunes keep multiplying. Soon after making friends with Helen Burns, Helen is plagued with consumption and dies. Mr. Brocklehurst and Mrs. Scatcherd make school distasteful. Miss Temple is Jane's only sanctuary until she is married and leaves. Even after all of Jane's tribulations, she thrives at Lowood, mastering all of her studies. Miss Temple's departure is the breaking point for Jane's duration at Lowood. After two years teaching there, she places an advertisement in the ----shire Herald and finds a new position. Defeating the odds, Jane works beyond her problematic formative years, surpasses the potential she was believed to have, and applies her knowledge to obtain her dream. Few believed she would be able to achieve anything. Helen's tombstone read: "Resurgam", meaning she would rise again. Jane did just that.
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