Jane Eyre's First Days at Lowood

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“Such was my first day at Lowood”

Throughout her first days at the Lowood Instution, Jane Eyre finds many surprising elements about her new home and the people in its community. She finds herself not only to be in harsh conditions in this school, but also to be underfed, overworked and forced to pay attention and obey during endless sermons. The difference between the girls here and her cousins back at Gateshead is also something that she takes great notice of and finds rather interesting. Most importantly for Jane, through befriending one of her more peculiar classmates, Helen Burns, she is exposed to another way of coping with life, a way that explains to her why the girls here are so obedient and mentally strong.

First of all, the living conditions at the Lowood institution are not exactly of the highest quality. The sleeping chambers one could say were the worst place; “when I laid down I glanced at the long rows of beds, each of which was quickly filled with two occupants; in ten minutes the single light was extinguished, and amidst silence and complete darkness I fell asleep”. The chambers are large, crowded but silent and completely dark, in places like these you have no personal space and the fact that all of these people are complete strangers to Jane adds even more to the feeling of uncomfortableness and insecurity. Despite being uncomfortable and insecure the feeling that grabs Jane the most is the cold; “a keen north-east wind, whistling through the crevices of our bedroom windows all night long, had made us shiver in our beds, and turned the contents of the ewers to ice”. This shows that there is a lot of sickness and disease spreading around Lowood Institution as all the girls are freezing at night.

If the food at Lowood is good, there is not enough. If the food at Lowood is absolutely horrible, there is too much of it. The meals of her first days consist of burnt porridge and strange meats mixed and cooked together with potatoes;...
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