Character Influences from Setting in Jane Eyre

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Charlotte Bronte's, Jane Eyre, a story of an unfortunate you who's morals and self-respect continue to fluctuate as she matures. Jane Eyre begins her life in the wrong place at the wrong time. During the novel, Jane endures love, hate and friendship, though maturity allows her to forgive. Settings surrounding Jane's life alter her own ideas of self-acceptance, her actions taken to release herself from certain settings have effect on her.

In the first few chapters, Bronte establishes Jane's character as a young girl who is the object of hatred from her cousins and aunt. In Chapter Five, Jane encounters numerous problems with her cousin John. After a confrontation, Mrs. Reed forces her to the Red-Room for punishment. Though, Jane resists which is unlike her, she is still placed in the Room. Jane recalls contents resting in a drawer in her aunts wardrobe, "[. . .] a miniature of her deceased husband, in those last words lies in the secret of the Red-Room -- the spell which kept it so lonely in spite of its grandeur (Bronte, 3rd Ed. 2001 p.11)." The Red-Room becomes a symbolic part of the novel but also an important setting. The Red-Room is "[. . .] the largest and stateliest chambers in the mansion (p. 11)," the atmosphere of the room lingers an ominous and creepy tone. Jane's inferior position among the Reed family is set by her punishment in the Red-Room. Jane explains her hatred towards the Reed's and shows no remorse for them. Soon after Jane's experiences in the Red-Room, Jane leaves to attend Lowood. As she leaves Gateshead, Jane emotions are overflowing with joy. The Lowood Institute assists in education impoverished and orphaned children, receives majority of its funds through charity. Beginning out at Lowood, Jane is ecstatic. After a period of time Jane expresses, " My first quarter at Lowood seemed an age; and not the golden age either: it comprised an irksome trouble with difficulties in habituating myself to new rules and unwonted tasks (p.50)." Thus, her thoughts of life at Gateshead with her aunt and cousins become increasingly different. Befriending classmate, Helen Burns, Jane realizes a friend can help in improving herself. As Jane shows great progress in class Helen begins to have a religious effect on her. Though Jane does not always believe in Helen's ideas she grows to respect them unlike, Mr. Brocklehurst who preaches his ideas. Character Influences from Setting 3

All the religious ideas Jane faces force her own ideas of self-respect and morals to constantly change.
"A new chapter in a novel is something like a new scene in a play (p.79)," as Jane ends her nine year stay at Lowood, she accepts a governess job at Thornfield. Jane feels that a change in setting might allow her to grow more as her own person, opposed to living up to everyone else. In the beginning the tone of Thornfield attains a comforting but an eerie tone at the same time. Jane's first night at Thornfield, she is greeted and welcomed by many of the servants. Mrs. Fairfax helps Jane to be comforted by warming and feeding her. Jane's first few months at Thornfield have no encounters with the owner, Mrs. Rochester, though Jane experiences Bertha Mason, who as she knows is Grace Poole. Bertha's effect on Jane makes her wonder the true reality behind the Thornfield house, and the history of its presence. According to other servants, Mr. Rochester is rarely seen and if he is there, no one can tell. One night, Jane's curiosity leads her to wander outside Thornfield, she encounters an injured middle-aged man.

To Jane's dismay, the middle-aged man turned out to be Mr. Rochester. After spending time with Mr. Rochester and Adele together, Jane's thoughts of Thornfield allow her to be more comfortable. With Jane's insight on Rochester's history, she feels for him. After learning that Rochester will be away for the next week, Jane becomes heavy-hearted. Soon Jane learns Rochester's accompany will be a...
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