Thursday, December 9, 2010

Term Paper on Charlotte Bronte

Term Paper on Charlotte Bronte

How does an author go about creating an air of sympathy for a fictional character? In Jane Eyre the author, Charlotte Bronte, uses several different devices in order to achieve this aim.

She uses the ‘social context’ of Jane’s time to help the reader respond to what is written. Jane Eyre is set in the early to mid nineteenth century and we see clearly through reading the text how different life today is compared with, the time when Jane lived.

In Jane’s period it wasn’t unusual for the males of the house to be dominant and be the ‘stronger’ sex. Women were seen as the ‘weaker’ sex and frequently were made to entertain guests and take care of the house. Women were more vulnerable in those days too, and the fact Jane was an orphan as well meant that she was seen as a ‘burden’ to society.

Charlotte also includes different types and styles of unique language throughout her expressive writing. She uses the household’s view of Jane to capture the reader emotionally. For example;


“You are less than a servant for you do nothing for your keep”

This shows us clearly how the family views Jane.

Charlotte Bronte cleverly uses words and imagery to ‘set the scene’ in her story. In the very first paragraph she sets the miserable, cloudy scene by including words like; “Sombre” and “Grey”.

These words help set the scene in the reader’s mind and give them a ‘feel’ of what the novel is about.

One other technique she uses is the structure of the novel. It is structured in a linear style and follows Jane’s life from when she was a small child to when she eventually grows to be an adult.

In this assignment I am going to look at SETTINGS, LANGUAGE, STRUCURE and SOCIAL CONTEXT in greater detail to be able to see how Charlotte Bronte creates sympathy for Jane Eyre throughout her novel.

At the very beginning of the first chapter we see that Bronte already is beginning to create sympathy for Jane Eyre. She does this emphatically by using the setting of the story to reflect how her character, Jane is feeling.She uses depressing and dull words to describe the atmosphere around her. Adjectives like, “Sombre” and “Grey” in particular stand out to the reader and reinforces the harshness in Jane’s environment.

I think that Charlotte Bronte uses this idea to ‘connect’ with the reader in an emotional way so that they become interested in the very fist paragraph- this works very well as it encourages the reader to read on.

She speaks of, “Cold winter” “Rain” and “Chilly afternoons”.

The way Charlotte describes in great detail the surroundings, tells us that she is trying to involve the reader and make them ‘feel’ the strong and vibrant setting that she has vividly created. I feel that the adjectives that have been included in the first paragraph have been brilliantly and carefully selected by Bronte. This technique helps her achieve the outstanding effect that she needs to ‘capture’ the audience’s sympathetic awareness at the beginning of her novel.

Another main setting that Bronte establishes is that of the red room.

This room to Jane symbolizes death and blood. After all, her uncle had died in this room. I think Bronte creates a sort of ‘gothic’ feel going in this room. I get this impression as Jane speaks of “spells” “spirits” “blood” and “superstitions”. All of these types of words help persuade the reader’s feelings towards Jane.

Jane is petrified being in it as she is constantly “Shaking her hair from her eyes” and feels somewhat “Suffocated” with the red room door closed. This intense scene Bronte creates for the reader, urges us to feel sympathetic towards Jane because of the cruel environment she is living in, also because she is so young and naĞ¿ve.

The metaphor and emotive language Bronte uses to describe her environment only adds to the sadness and sorrow that the reader is manipulated into feeling.

The red room seems to me as being the main setting, persuading the reader to feel sorry for Jane. Bronte expresses Jane’s emotions clearly and effectively throughout the second chapter so that her language ‘captures’ the readers imagination.

As well as cleverly using the ‘settings’ of the story to create sympathy for Jane, Charlotte also uses language to describe Jane herself. Through looking at language used we can see that Charlotte Bronte uses “How others view Jane”, “How Jane views herself” and “Physical description of Jane” to make the reader feel sympathetic towards her.

We can see clearly from reading the text that, Jane is not respected by others in the house. Bronte portrays her as an ‘outcast’ and uses the bitter and cruelness that gets inflicted on her by John and the rest of the household to create sympathy and sorrow for Jane.

John bluntly informs Jane, “You are less than a servant for you do nothing for your keep”.

This strong, definite statement informs us that Jane is not respected in her social environment. John believes she is “Less than a servant” as she is completely dependant on the family. Although he is only two years older than Jane, he considers himself to be the man of the house.

It wasn’t uncommon though, for a woman in the nineteenth century to be thought of as the ‘weaker sex’ compared to a man. This was because in Jane’s time, women didn’t have the right to do the things that women today take for granted. Things like the public vote could only be taken by men. Women had no voice and little rights in the 19th century and so were seen as ‘inferior’ to men.

Here, John tells her she is “less than a servant” and just shows how little he respects her. Charlotte Bronte includes remarks like this to show how Jane’s cousin sees his role within the family. He says that she is “Like a mad cat” and tells her “You’re a dependant” “You ought to beg”.

This makes the reader feel sorry for Jane and makes them become, ‘emotionally involved’ in how she is treated by others.

It seems here we notice two contrasting characters (that of John and Jane) Jane is physically and mentally weaker than John and it is noticeable from the text that their characters are totally different.

I think Bronte has included this to create more sympathy for Jane as she is compared by the reader against the strong, possessive John.

The household regards Jane as a burden to society and punishes her for being there, even though it wasn’t her fault that she was orphaned and ended up living with them.
There are certain aspects of Jane’s character that the household view negatively but that the reader sees from a positive point of view.

“Did you ever see such a picture of passion?” was the rhetorical question Bessie asked.

-This was viewed negatively by the household but could be viewed in a totally opposite way to the reader.

I would say that here, Bronte has used irony to suggest two meanings. The reader would believe that Jane is a picture of passion as she is a strong willed, courageous girl but the household sees this ‘picture of passion’ in a completely different light as they see her as being wild, naughty and disobedient!

Different language is used to describe how Jane views herself.

“Mysterious” “Rebel slave” and “Like nobody” are words Bronte uses to describe Jane.

Charlotte Bronte excellently creates sympathy here for Jane by using figurative language to describe Jane herself. It is clear that Jane sees herself as somewhat different from other women and even though she is humiliated, depressed and has low self esteem she is incredibly strong willed and Charlotte gets this across to the reader effectively by her intense choice of elaborate sentences and extended vocabulary.

In addition to these things, Charlotte Bronte uses Jane’s ‘physical description’ to make the audience feel sympathetic towards her.

“My physical inferiority to Eliza, John and Georgiana” and “Glittering eyes of fear moving” Show how Jane feels small and unimportant compared to her cousins.

-Sentence’s like these have been included in the novel by Charlotte to offer the reader an insight as to what Jane is like, physically.

The fact that Jane has been portrayed as being, white, weak, small and young makes the reader feel rather sympathetic towards Jane.

By physically making Jane sound unhealthy and inferior to the rest of the children as well as mentally unhealthy it encourages the person reading even more to feel sorry for her.

Jane tells us, “I was but ten”.

Again, this shows us just how young and vulnerable Jane is. Despite her age though, we can see that Jane has a very mature outlook on life and is not afraid to stand up to what she believes.

Persuasive language is also another teqnique that Charlotte has used to enhance the overall quality of her work. She has persuaded the reader to feel sympathetic towards Jane by use of language, imagery and style-she does this through all the language aspects I have mentioned.

The way that the chapters are structured throughout this novel, are rather unique.
Charlotte Bronte, uses the ‘linear’ style of writing and it has been used in this particular case to show how Jayne grows from a small, weak but strong willed child to a stronger, open minded young woman.

The style follows Jane from when she was a small girl at the beginning of the story to the end, where she is a woman.

We are aware that the story starts when she is young as Jane says;

“I was but ten”- this quote can also be referred to when talking about the language section and how Jane was vulnerable as a child.

Charlotte Bronte is attacking the social injustices that were present in the 19th century. Bronte successfully does this and vividly portrays what life was like at the time the book is set.

If we look into the period of time when the book was actually written (19th century) we can see that life then was different to life today.

Charlotte Bronte uses the social context of the novel to help the reader feel emotional towards Jane Eyre.

For instance, today both women and men are treated equally- this wasn’t the case in Jane’s lifetime. Women were seen as inferior to men and the fact that Jane was a dependant as well meant that she gained little respect in her social environment.

In the 19th century, women’s place was in the home where they would serve for their master as well as carry out housework and entertain guests.

Because Jane has no social standing anymore after her parents died it means that she is a ‘dependant’ and has to depend on her aunt to look after her.

We can see that unlike stereotypical women of her time, Jane possesses a mind of her own. She has ‘a brain’ and a wild imagination. I think this is because of all her reading. She sees reading as a way to get out of what is happening around her.

Jane has nobody around her that loves her anymore and the only comfort that she finds is in the characters in the books she reads. Charlotte Bronte uses Jane’s “half imp” character to create sympathy for her.

As Jane has no money her biggest fear is of the poorhouse (a place she would have to go to if her aunt didn’t take her in) She understands that she should be grateful that she has been taken in as she knows that life in the poorhouse would be unimaginably painful and hard. Unfortunately, Jane was never taught that poor people shouldn’t be treated as outcasts and that you can still be happy as well as poor. Jane sees these two things as completely unlinked.

I think that Jane’s later life is how Bronte would have liked her own to be. The character Bronte has produced is rather ‘spirit like’ and is like a character from a fairy story. It’s almost as though Jane is angel-like as it seems know one notices her presence.

In conclusion, after studying in greater depth how Charlotte Bronte creates sympathy for Jane Eyre using structure, social context, language and settings we can see that Bronte manages to get the reader to feel sympathetic towards Jane.

Bronte does this effectively by the use of figurative, emotional and persuasive language to create an effect on the reader. We can see that the fact that Jane is orphaned, so young and vulnerable, unwanted, bullied etc makes the reader feel sorry for her.

Maybe though, we have been slightly manipulated by Bronte’s intense use of language into feeling “too sorry” perhaps, for Jane. It could well be that Jane was occasionally naughty!

Also the settings that Charlotte Bronte creates, like that of the red room, contributes to making the reader feel sorry for Jane.

My personal impression of Jane has been created through Bronte’s use of emotive and imaginative language. I am made to feel sympathetic towards Jane as she is orphaned, young, afraid of the red room etc and I believe that throughout this novel, Charlotte Bronte has impressively managed to persuade the reader into feeling sorry for Jane Eyre.

I think that the way she talked about the red room and Jane’s fear of it was both imaginative and moving.

The moral of the story suggests that even though Jane had a distressful and uneasy life, she still managed to pull through and that it is possible to grow from a weak, vulnerable child to a strong, courageous woman. Bronte brilliantly gets this powerful message across to her reader.

By expressing Jane’s thoughts and feelings Charlotte Bronte, has successfully created an air of sympathy by using various linguistic techniques to emotionally ‘touch’ the reader from start to finish.

Warning!!! All free sample term papers and college term paper examples on Charlotte Bronte topics are plagiarized and cannot be fully used in your high school, college or university education.

Order Custom Term Paper on Charlotte Bronte
If you need a custom written term paper, research paper, essay, dissertation, thesis paper or any other homework on your topic, will write your academic term papers from scratch. Starting at $12/page you can get 100% custom written papers online. We work with experienced PhD. and Master's freelance writers to help you with writing any papers in any discipline! High quality and 100% non-plagiarized term papers guaranteed!