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Jane Eyre - Setting
Authors use different types of literary devices such as setting in their works to reveal theme. Setting can be described as the time and place in which an event occurs. It is a major factor in revealing plot and showing character development. The setting in The Grapes of Wrath allows the reader to see the poor conditions in the dust bowl that the Joad family was forced to live and the opportunities they had in California; however, they were unable to obtain them. Charlotte Bronte sets her story, Jane Eyre, in the 1840's, a time often refereed to as the Victorian age. By doing this, the reader can get a sense of how women are treated, and what responsibilities they were required to uphold in society. They rarely held important jobs if they were not married. Instead, they basically had two options either as a governess or a schoolteacher. If they were married they were mothers and hostesses for their husband's parties. Jane was a very strong woman for her time, as she did not allow people to mistreat her. She is on a constant search for love and goes many places to find it. As Jane travels through each place, starting at age ten in Gateshead Hall till she was nineteen in Ferndean, she matures as a result of the experiences that she has, which in turn allows her to become a strong woman.
In the beginning of the novel, Jane, age ten, lives in Gateshead Hall, a house owned by her uncle. She lived with her Aunt Reed and her three children. Jane was treated as an outcast there because of her lower class background and the fact that her uncle loved her the most over his wife and children. This caused jealousy in the home. "I was a discord at Gateshead Hall; I was like nobody there" (47). In Gateshead Hall Jane was treated as a servant not as a member of their family. She was as an ugly person with a temper in a beautiful rich place. The only form of love that Jane possesses was the doll she slept with every night. Mrs. Reed, her aunt, was an evil woman who believes that she is superior. Jane did not accept her aunt's superiority and she threw violent temper tantrums. "God will punish her: He might strike her in the midst of her tantrums" (45). Jane's Aunt punished Jane for others wrong doing to her. Jane was constantly reminded that she does not do anything to earn her keep, "No; you are less than a servant for you do nothing for your keep" (44). In Gateshead Hall Jane knew that she was not very lovable, and that she could not find love there. She was an unwanted child, and she was an outsider in her own home, the only home she ever knew.
Jane was sent away from Gateshead Hall to a charity boarding school called Lowood. Mrs. Reed decides to send Jane there after the doctor, Mr. Lloyd, advised her that Jane should attend a boarding school to control her temper. However, despite the poor conditions, in Lowood, Jane began to feel accepted. Miss. Temple, who runs the school, and Helen Burns, a fellow classmate, helped her become a stronger person. Helen taught her to not worry much about what others think of her. Lowood was a school formed to educate orphaned children. Jane described the people as plain because, compared to what she was used to, they, " All with plain locks combed from their faces, not a curl visible; in brown dresses, made high, and surrounded by a narrow tucker about the throat" (79). The food was bad and did not smell much better, but, one day, Miss Temple took it upon herself to treat the girls to cheese and bread. This was against school policy because the school was funded through charity and did not have a lot of money to support such expenses. Mr. Brocklehurst, the minister of Lowood, told Miss Temple that what she did was wrong and that the girls should not be spoiled. "You are aware that my plan in bringing up these girls, was not to accustom them to luxury and indulgence, but to render them, hardy, patient, and self-denying" (95). Helen befriended Jane and taught her who to react to different
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