Jane Eyre: Bildungsroman

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Nicholas Scelzi Mrs. Pinto English 10H Period 2 April 14, 2013 Jane Eyre as a Bildungsroman Jane Eyre, written by Charlotte Brontë, is a Bildungsroman. A Bildungsroman is a novel in which the protagonist engages in a moral and psychological growth. A Bildungsroman generally exhibits the growth and development of a particular individual within a confined social order. The character, to travel on this road to adulthood and development, must have some sort of loss or discontent. The path that the character travels is long, arduous, and gradual and is lodged with hardship and adversity between the needs, desires and views of the protagonist and the norm of society. Ultimately, the spirit and values of the social order becomes evident in the protagonist and the protagonist displays a new position in society. In the opening chapter of Jane Eyre, Jane, the protagonist, is abused emotionally, physically and verbally by her antipathetic family. Her cousin John, who demands that Jane refer to him as Master, is especially belligerent. While reading and minding her own business, Jane is disturbed and attacked by her malicious cousin for no good reason. This is the first time Jane stands up for herself and yells back at her cousin, only to receive a worse punishment and become imprisoned in the red-room at Gateshead, which is the same room in which her late uncle was waked. She soon hallucinates and sees illusions of her ghastly uncle. Jane later attends an orphan school called Lowood, where she is, yet again, treated cruelly. However, there is a single girl who is content and uncomplaining: Helen Burns, a young girl who has faith that God will. Jane admires this and soon befriends Helen. Helen grows ill and dies, but her last words reassure her strong-rooted faith in God and inspire Jane to have the same faith. Jane remains at Lowood for eight years, six as a student and two as a teacher, furthering her education and accelerating to the top of her class. When Jane leaves...
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