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Character Influences From Setting In Jane Eyre

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Charlotte Bronte's, Jane Eyre, a story of an unfortunate you who's morals and self-respect

continue to fluctuate as she matures. Jane Eyre begins her life in the wrong place at the wrong

time. During the novel, Jane endures love, hate and friendship, though maturity allows her to

forgive. Settings surrounding Jane's life alter her own ideas of self-acceptance, her actions taken

to release herself from certain settings have effect on her.

In the first few chapters, Bronte establishes Jane's character as a young girl who is the

object of hatred from her cousins and aunt. In Chapter Five, Jane encounters numerous

problems with her cousin John. After a confrontation, Mrs. Reed forces her to the Red-Room for

punishment. Though, Jane resists which is unlike her, she is still placed in the Room. Jane

recalls contents resting in a drawer in her aunts wardrobe, "[. . .] a miniature of her deceased

husband, in those last words lies in the secret of the Red-Room -- the spell which kept it so

lonely in spite of its grandeur (Bronte, 3rd Ed. 2001 p.11)." The Red-Room becomes a symbolic

part of the novel but also an important setting. The Red-Room is "[. . .] the largest and stateliest

chambers in the mansion (p. 11)," the atmosphere of the room lingers an ominous and creepy

tone. Jane's inferior position among the Reed family is set by her punishment in the Red-Room.

Jane explains her hatred towards the Reed's and shows no remorse for them. Soon after Jane's

experiences in the Red-Room, Jane leaves to attend Lowood. As she leaves Gateshead, Jane

emotions are overflowing with joy. The Lowood Institute assists in education impoverished and

orphaned children, receives majority of its funds through charity. Beginning out at Lowood,

Jane is ecstatic. After a period of time Jane expresses, " My first quarter at Lowood seemed an

age; and not the golden age either: it comprised an irksome trouble with difficulties in

habituating myself to new rules and unwonted tasks (p.50)." Thus, her thoughts of life at

Gateshead with her aunt and cousins become increasingly different. Befriending classmate,

Helen Burns, Jane realizes a friend can help in improving herself. As Jane shows great progress

in class Helen begins to have a religious effect on her. Though Jane does not always believe in

Helen's ideas she grows to respect them unlike, Mr. Brocklehurst who preaches his ideas.

Character Influences from Setting 3

All the religious ideas Jane faces force her own ideas of self-respect and morals to constantly


"A new chapter in a novel is something like a new scene in a play (p.79)," as Jane ends

her nine year stay at Lowood, she accepts a governess job at Thornfield. Jane feels that a change

in setting might allow her to grow more as her own person, opposed to living up to everyone

else. In the beginning the tone of Thornfield attains a comforting but an eerie tone at the same

time. Jane's first night at Thornfield, she is greeted and welcomed by many of the servants.

Mrs. Fairfax helps Jane to be comforted by warming and feeding her. Jane's first few months at

Thornfield have no encounters with the owner, Mrs. Rochester, though Jane experiences Bertha

Mason, who as she knows is Grace Poole. Bertha's effect on Jane makes her wonder the true

reality behind the Thornfield house, and the history of its presence. According to other servants,

Mr. Rochester is rarely seen and if he is there, no one can tell. One night, Jane's curiosity leads

her to wander outside Thornfield, she encounters an injured middle-aged man.

To Jane's dismay, the middle-aged man turned out to be Mr. Rochester. After spending

time with Mr. Rochester and Adele together, Jane's thoughts of Thornfield allow her to be more

comfortable. With Jane's insight on Rochester's history, she feels for him. After learning that

Rochester will be away for the next week, Jane becomes heavy-hearted. Soon Jane learns

Rochester's accompany will be a wealthy,beautiful woman, Blanche Ingram. Jane does not

understand her despondence to the news of this. Soon, Thornfield becomes dismal for Jane, she

attempts to erase any thoughts and imaginations she my have held about Rochester. On what

seemed a typical night, Jane awakes to the sound of a door creaking. Jane leaves her room to

find, "a strong smell of burning (p. 127)." The smoke led to Mr. Rochester's room, Jane

scanned the room seeing, " Tongues of flame darted round the bed: the curtains were on fire. In

the midst of blaze and vapour, Mr. Rochester lay stretched motionless, in deep sleep (p. 127)."

Jane panicked and quickly woke him and assisted him out of the room. As the next few days

went by, Jane became increasingly nervous.

Character Influences from Setting 4

She does not understand why Rochester took



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