Jane Eyre and the Magic Toyshop - Theme of Childhood

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How is the theme of childhood presented in “Jane Eyre”? Support with “The Magic Toyshop”. (40)

Although Jane is only ten years old, “I was but ten.” at the start of the novel, the tone to which “Jane Eyre” is written empowers her and shows her strong spirit, especially when she fights back against the bullying of John Reed, her cousin. “I received him in frantic sort.” For Jane to fight back against him, is an example of her female empowerment and her fighting the patriarchal ways of the Victorians. Women weren’t expected to be opinionated however Jane challenges this, even in her childhood and this is proved as she doesn’t sit back and take what John Reed says to her nor what he does to her. Melanie the protagonist in “The Magic Toyshop” also seems to be fiery although it’s not as obvious as Jane’s character. They both seem to have moments of inner conflict within themselves during their childhood and this causes them to act out. “She picked up the hairbrush and flung it at her reflected face. The mirror shattered. Melanie shatters the mirror because in her reflection she sees the girl who killed her parents and this shows her inner conflict. In both “Jane Eyre” and “The Magic Toyshop” there is an interesting use of hindsight within the protagonist’s childhood; not only does Jane describe her childhood with perfect clarity of detail even though she is writing this many years later "My heart beat thick, my head grew hot; a sound filled my ears, which I deemed the rushing of wings; something seemed near me; I was oppressed, suffocated: endurance broke down; I rushed to the door and shook the lock in desperate effort." but also with a very mature and sophisticated description of events that, at the time, the child would most likely not have been capable of. In "Jane Eyre" this maturity of description is visible both through the intricacy of the language "reader though I look comfortably accommodated, I am not very tranquil in my mind". The use of first person...
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