It Is the Minor Characters Who Create Much of the Interest in Jane Eyre.’

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Minor Characters often act as the catalysts for larger events with in a characters life; it is through interaction with people around them that our protagonists are defined and redefined. It is thought this interaction and the interest individual characters evoke that make minor characters with in both these novels so vital. This essay will explore how minor characters with in the novels ‘Jane Eyre’ and ‘Wide Sargasso Sea’ impact upon the lives of our central characters; as well as the interest they bring through their individual complexities, and how this in turn creates much of the interest with in these novels.

Within the troubled childhoods of our protagonists particular importance is often placed upon the parental figures with in there early lives. Within ‘Jane Eyre’ Mrs Reed and Mr Brocklehurst are the most notable examples of this. Mrs. Reed and Mr. Brocklehurst both take the needy in to their care, but do not take care of them. Mrs. Reed abuses Jane and allows her children, especially her son, John to abuse her behind her back. Mr. Brocklehurst is far worse and attempts to justify himself through the farce of education, justifying his cruelty by claiming that his ‘aim is not to pamper the body but strengthen the soul’. Whilst both appear at first glance to be generous benefactors, they are in fact disguising a rotten core- this acts as an interesting metaphor for the corruption within the class system- and is a continuing theme throughout the novel, as we later notice the wealthy exterior of Thornfield disguises a dark secret. Similarly Annette also experiences injustice with in her childhood from people in positions of guardianship and authority; the most notable example being Annette, her mother. It is Annette’s cruelty and her mysterious death that creates much of the interest with in the novel. An example of this indifference is when Annette wishes to leave Jamaica and comments ‘It is not safe for Pierre’, in this moment it is as if Annette forgets...
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