Impression of Society in Chapter 16 of Jane Eyre

Topics: Sociology, Jane Eyre, Social class Pages: 3 (1225 words) Published: February 16, 2013
What impression of society has Bronte created in chapters 16-19? The impression Bronte gives of society in these 4 chapters is that of an evident falsehood, this is both in individuals and society as a whole in that there is an upper class veneer which separates them from the majority of society. This can also be broadened to the way children are even treated, with a formality because they have yet, no earned social ranking and so are treated with a formal almost cold tone. Also we see the superficiality in the way everyone is viewed so almost entirely for how they present themselves as well as the effects this has on Jane’s self-esteem. Very evident is the superficiality at the forefront of evaluating a person’s entirety in 19th century England. Bronte presents the way in which someone’s demeanour and the presentation of their selves both in the way they immediately look as well as their social status or wellbeing as simply ‘who they are’. Given that the book is written in the narrative of Jane Eyre we see that she views society in terms of looks, wealth and social class. Very true though, is that this perception is only as a result of Jane being a product of her society and so through this view Bronte creates an atmosphere or impression of society as a whole. Our first impression of Blanche Ingram is her looks and ‘grace’ described in a lot of depth by Mrs Fairfax in such ways as her being ‘tall’ with dispositions like her having ‘noble features’ such as a ‘[her eyes] as brilliant as her jewels’ these descriptions are all slightly melodramatic and prophetic in description, this in turn emphasis’ the importance of appearance and so in Blanche being so beautiful it shows the degree of admiration and amazement people have of her. Ironically just after Mrs Fairfax gives this description in appearance she goes on to say ‘[she was greatly admired] for her accomplishments’ which seems a contradictory thing to say as more of a token comment which Bronte may have...
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