How Does Bronte Use Power In Jane Eyre

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Jane Eyre is the central character in Charles Bronte’s novel titled Jane Eyre. Jane Eyre is shown to be a strong independent woman who progresses through a life of hardship with unrivaled adroitness. She was humbled by the power that many had exercised over her; moreover, that power strengthened her resolve to maintain her independence. The people who exercised their power over Jane and will be discussed in this paper include: Mr. Rochester, Mr. Brocklehurst, Mrs. Reed, and finally John Reed. In order to adequately discuss how the aforementioned people used their power to abuse Jane it is vital to understand what their power was composed of. Social standing was the most abusive power used in the novel. All of the characters mentioned were…show more content…
Brocklehurst is when Mrs. Reed invites him to their home to discuss sending Jane to boarding school. Mr. Brocklehurst immediately demonstrates his power over Jane when he first meets her. He does so by attempting to cast fear into Jane. He asks young Jane, “’are you a good child?’” (Bronte Chapter IV). Jane did not respond because she knew that she was not a good child by definition. Mr. Brocklehurst continued, “’No sight so sad as that of a naughty child… especially a naughty little girl. Do you know where the wicked go after death?’” (Bronte Chapter IV). In this statement he is basically telling Jane that she is going to hell if she does not change her wicked ways. This is Mr. Brocklehurst using the classic fear of damnation tactic to persuade Jane to change her behavior or suffer for eternity. Thankfully, Jane is not so easily swayed and maintains her strong character. Jane’s strong character will continue to be tested as she spends time at Lowood, the boarding school that Mr. Brocklehurst is in charge of. Mr. Brocklehurst uses the boarding school as a form of punishment for the students who attend, describes the conditions Jane is met with; “Jane is subjected to severe cold and near starvation , conditions that claimed the lives of many of her classmates” (Ashe 181). Mr. Brocklehurst claims that his punishment is meant to cleanse the soul, but often it is drastic and unwarranted. For example, one day at Lowood, Mr. Brocklehurst appeared in Jane’s class and coincidently she accidently knocks her slate off of her desk and upon striking the ground it shattered. Mr. Brocklehurst saw this as an opportunity to punish Jane. Mr. Brocklehurst instructs all of the
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