How Much Sympathy Does the Reader Feel for Jane Eyre at Different Stages in the Story?

Topics: Jane Eyre, Academy Award for Best Actress, English-language films Pages: 3 (1351 words) Published: November 13, 2005
There are many stages throughout the book in which the reader can feel sympathy for Jane Eyre; these include when she is locked in the Red Room, when Helen Burns dies at Lowood, and when she and Mr. Rochester are married the first time.

The situation when Jane in locked in the Red Room occurs because she has retaliated against John Reed hitting her and the fact that she is being punished for doing so. The mere fact that she is being locked in the Red Room can already accumulate sympathy within the reader because she is seemingly being very unfairly punished whereas her cousin John has attacked her already and managed to escape any punishment whatsoever. However in the events leading up to being locked in the room, the reader could not feel sympathy for Jane Eyre as she did in a way bring the punishment upon herself for attacking Mr. Reed in the first place. If she has not retaliated she would have not been locked in the room. Most readers however probably do feel sympathy for her as she was acting more in self-defence. She was also unfairly spoken too as they were dragging her to the room itself as they say things like ‘she's like a mad cat' and do not seem to be letting her give an explanation at all for her actions, and only listening to what John had too say. They make sure that she knows her place by telling her that ‘You are under obligation to Mrs. Reed' and that she is ‘less than a servant'. These are not kind words and the reader will probably feel sympathetic as she is being treated as a worthless object. The room that she is sent too is a dark and unpleasant place with memories of the dead Mr. Reed. For a child of Jane's young age it would seemingly be very distressing for her, and with the added experience of her seemingly seeing a ‘ghost' of some kind, it would be a terrible experience. Even if the reader has not felt sympathy for Jane before this incident they would surely feel so now, as she is in a distressing situation alone. When Jane first...
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