Class Relationships In Jane Eyre

1011 Words5 Pages
Kelsey Gifford
Meaghan Bodemer
Women in Literature
March 26, 2018
Class Relationships In her novel Jane Eyre, Charlotte Bronte uses her main character Jane to explore the lower, middle and upper economic classes of Victorian England, while remaining the same character throughout the entire novel. As an individual with no class status identified as an orphan, Jane’s character is adaptable, guiding her from her beginning stay at Gateshead estate to her ending destination at Thornfield Hall with Mr. Rochester. Through her engagements, Jane is given the opportunity to meet other characters and consider them by their personalities and values rather than on their economic status. In keeping the reader at a state of arousal and tension, Charlotte
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Starting from the introduction after her parents pass away and leave her an orphan to be raised by her cruel Aunt Reed, Jane is not recognized as a member of the family. She is treated not as one of Mrs. Reed’s servants but just as equal to their rank. Jane experiences the same feeling while studying at the boarding school Lowood. From her abusive upbringing, she never believed that she was worthy of much, though she did not truly believe she was worthless. Jane more and more feels the need to belong somewhere. Characters like Abbot and Mr. Brocklehurst in the novel judge Jane by her class status and physical appearance; while characters like Bessie, Helen and Miss Temple who get to know Jane, appreciate her more for her individuality and thoughts. Jane has a tendency of attaching herself to poor, humbly figures ridiculing the wealthy, comparable to her rich family the Reed’s and Mr. Brocklehurst. Mr. Brocklehurst, based on her opinions of him as being a cold-hearted, greedy man she criticizes for his actions at the school and how he parades his wife and daughters in fine…show more content…
Her only saving grace as a lower middle class is her education and with that is she is able to move forward to a governess job at Thornfield Hall where she meets her future husband. Throughout the novel, Jane is confronted by her sense of honor and pride. She has firmly believed for most of her life that the greatest wish she can aspire to attain is that she lives a contended and somewhat independent life. As it so happens, Jane falls in love with Mr. Rochester during her stay. Mr. Rochester being of upper class status, it was looked down upon in society that the two of them be matched and Jane is in disbelief that he would be willing to lower his stature on her account. After complications arise from her engagement to Rochester and the kept secret of Bertha, his mad wife that is kept locked away in the attic is found out, Jane makes the decision to break away from Thornfield. In a parting conversation with Mr. Rochester, Jane states, “I must part with you for my whole life: I must begin a new existence among strange faces and strange scenes” (Pg
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