Jane Eyre Study

During this journey, Jane goes through the battle of education vs. containment, where she attempts to learn about herself and about the world . . . This battle of education vs. containment can be seen by following Jane through her different places of residence, including Gateshead Hall, Lowood Institution, Thornfield, Moor House and Morton, and Ferndean Manor, where she is finally, fully educated and escapes the feeling of containment which she held throughout the novel”

Lowood school is located far from any towns or proper civilisation, and is in a very secluded area, when Jane Eyre is on her way to the school she say’s “we ceased to pass through towns; the country changed; great grey hills heaved up round the horizon”. They also passed through some woods and through a valley. The weather is also dark and wet, which sets the mood of the story. In Lowood there was no electricity and they used candles it is also very cold and dark. All the classes were taught in the same room. They had a dull uniform and were described as wearing, “Brown stuff frocks of quaint fashion, and long pinafores”.

The girls were also not allowed to have long curly hair if they did it would have to be cut. The rooms in Lowood are big and cold, the girls of all ages are taught in the same room. Jane Eyre’s first day starts with dinner, which was a mug of water and a thinned oaten cake. After this she had to go to bed, all the girls slept in the same room described as being a long schoolroom full of beds and had two occupants to each bed. The school day then started at dawn when the bell rang, as soon as the bell rang the girls woke up and started of put on their clothes.

The girls also had to wash in the same water, as there was only one basin to six pupils. From this we can see that it was not like a school but a military camp. Once she had woken up they went to another dimly lit schoolroom where they read prayers and the bible. Then another bell rang and they went to the breakfast room for breakfast the bell then rang again and they went for lessons again, they then had dinner at five o’clock and lessons started again soon after, they had half an hour of break after which they had prayers and then bed. This shows the strict routine in Lowood School.

Miss Temple is the most kind and considerate teacher to the pupils. On Jane Eyre’s first day she asked if she was hungry and tired, when Jane Eyre said yes, Miss Temple made sure she had some rest and food. Also when the porridge was served for breakfast it was burnt and the pupils could not eat it, they would have had no breakfast if it was not for Miss Temple as she ordered more food for the pupils, which was against the rules and she also said it was to be done on her responsibility. “You had this morning a breakfast which you could not eat; you must be hungry.

I have ordered that a lunch of bread and cheese shall be served to all”. When she said this the other teachers looked at her with surprise. This shows her kindness, which was unusual in Lowood. Miss Scratcherd on the other hand was very strict and picks on students she doesn’t like, as is shown in the text about the way she treats Helen Burns, first she shouts at her saying she was not sitting straight, when she changed her posture Miss Scratcherd continued to make her an “object of constant notice”. She then also said she was standing on the side of her shoe.

When Helen Burns was the only one to answer a question correctly Miss Scratcherd did not praise her but she came up with another excuse and hit her instead. Both the teachers in Lowood are completely different, Miss Scratcherd abuses her power over the children and doesn’t like to make the students feel they are doing well, whereas Miss Temple likes to help the children and doesn’t abuse her power, but she uses it to help the students. Mr Brocklehurst is in charge of Lowood school but he treats the girls as if they are animals and not worth anything more.

He Uses religion against the girls, he doesn’t allow the girls to have long or curly hair but when his daughters and wife come into the hall they are dressed up and had false curls and when a girl like Julia-Stevens had natural curled hair he ordered it cut. Mr Brocklehurst used religion as a tool of punishment when we said Jane Eyre is evil and called her a devil in the form of a child. He then also told everyone to keep away from her and to punish her body to save her soul. He is segregating Jane from the rest of the students. From this we can see that Mr Brocklehurst is a hypocrite.

As in school he uses the excuse of religion not allowing the girls to have curly hair and fashionable cloths but when his family comes in they do the complete opposite of what he says. Charlotte Bronte addresses the theme of Christianity in the novel Jane Eyre. Bronte states: ‘Conventionality is not morality. Self-righteousness is not religion. To attack the first is not to assail the last’. In Jane Eyre, Bronte supports the theme that customary actions are not always moral through the conventional personalities of Mrs. Reed, Mr. Brocklehurst, and St. John Rivers”.

In Jane Eyre the author Charlotte Bronte gathered together not merely the recent experiences of her adult years, but the unobliterated recollections of childhood at the Clergy Daughters’ School at Cowan Bridge. Confined as that experience had in reality been to a period of ten months in the author’s ninth year, it is given duration and a prominence in the novel that cast its shadow over all the subsequent action. Jane Eyre, the heroine, is essentially a “deprived child,” a penniless orphan whose isolation in an inimical world makes her doubly vulnerable to its indifference and cruelty.

It also makes her doubly responsive to the least proffer of friendship and love. At the orphanage the child forms a passionate attachment to an older and precociously intelligent girl, Helen Burns (whose prototype was Charlotte’s own eldest sister, Maria, who died of tuberculosis at thirteen), because Helen is good to her. It is also so with the school superintendent, Miss Evans, who treats Jane with justice and confidence in her ability to make good. Normal human relationships based on mutual trust and humanity take a disproportionate place in Jane’s affections, because of the traumatic experiences of her childhood.

This point is made manifestly clear by the author before engaging her heroine in the vortex of her love for her employer, Mr. Rochester. The school in the 1850’s is much more stricter then it is now, the teachers use to hit the pupils. But the education was not as thorough as it is in this century. I think that the pupils can learn more in school now than before and they would want to come to school to learn, whereas in the past the pupils may have been scared to go to school and then they would have been worried about what they said. Therefore they could not concentrate.

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