Jane Eyre, written by Charlotte Bronte, is the story of an orphan named Jane. It describes the life of a young girl. The book begins in Gateshead Hall where Jane lived with her aunt and her cousins. She is very much the unwanted child—- a burden to the entire Reed family. Infact she is mistreated and abused in that house. Her Aunt and her cousins both physically and emotionally abuse her. After a while her Aunt sends her off to a charitable institution, Lowood.
In Lowood the food is scarce. The manager, Mr. Brocklehurst is mean-fisted. He kept the girls almost on the brink of starvation. When the summer arrived the girls started falling sick. Bronte writes,”Semi-starvation and neglected colds had predisposed most of the pupils to receive infection; forty-five of the eighty girls lay ill at one time”(Bronte 66). Yet through all this Jane survives. She goes to graduate from that school and become a teacher.
At nineteen years of age Jane leaves Lowood to be a governess to a child in Thornfield. In Thornfied Jane experiences liberty at last. She is no longer obligated to anyone. However in Thornfield she falls in love with her master Rochester. And for the first in her life she too is loved and wanted by a man. However at the altar she finds out that he is married. Though his wife is a dangerous lunatic she feels compelled to leave him.
Through out the book Jane is portrayed as a survivor. She is the epitome of womanhood. Jane is a survivor. She survives abuse at both Gateshead and Lowood. She survives the death of her best and only friend, Helen Burns. She is strong and does not wilt under the pressure of life. Even when life is cruel it cannot quite kill her spirit or her desire to be alive. Jane breaks away from the traditional woman. The one who needs protection and shelter from the harsh world. The woman who needs a man to hold her and comfort her. On the contrary Jane is independent and self-sufficient.
Bronte emphasizes Jane’s independence by making her a working woman and contrasting her with the rest of the women who were interested in Rochester. Unlike them she takes care of herself. She does not aim to get married into wealth. She is in love with Rochester’s mind while Blanche is in love with his purse.
Essay on the Irony of Pride in Pride and Prejudice
The Irony of Pride in Pride and Prejudice
Jane Austen uses the elements of both pride and prejudice to develop the satire in her novel. Austen presents pride as both a vice and a virtue. Austen first introduces pride as a vice of arrogance and prejudice, but as the characters in the novel develop so does the concept of pride. Towards the end of the novel pride becomes the vehicle for many of the noble actions taken by the main characters. Austen skillfully interweaves the two parts of pride, the plot, and the main characters so that they develop together in the book. When we get to the end of the novel, we are left with a fuller understanding of the complexities of pride.
Throughout the first part of the novel pride is seen as negative and destructive. It is characterized as being conceited and arrogant. The actions of the main characters seem to be guided by selfish pride. It is this kind of pride that leads the main characters to act in ways that causes themselves and others much distress and suffering. In fact, the tensions, misunderstandings, and hostilities between the two main leading characters, Mr. Darcy and Miss Elizabeth Bennet are byproducts of the vice of arrogant pride.
When we first meet Mr. Darcy at an assembly, he is perceived as a handsome exciting young man who holds much promise as a gentleman and future husband. But the assembly guests soon scrutinize his prideful manners and actions and he is found to be less then desirable. Mrs. Bennet, Elizabeth’s mother, sees him as the “proudest, most disagreeable man in the world.” His conceited and prideful disposition not only offends her, but most of company at the assembly. His arrogance consumes him and his character, and veils any good…
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…ouse Publishers, 1996.
Hennelly, Jr., Mark M. “Pride and Prejudice.” Jane Austen: New Perspectives. ed. Janet Todd. New York: Holmes