What would you do if both of

What would you do if both of your parents and the one other person who cared for you all die, leaving you alone with an abusive woman and three abusive cousins? This is the situation that Jane is going through. Throughout the novel Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë, a number of events affect Jane’s character and lead to her isolation, alienation, and several other conflicts. Firstly, the death of Mr. Reed forces Jane to live with Mrs. Reed, who sees her as a nuisance. Additionally, Jane’s love for Mr. Rochester not only causes her emotional pain, but leads to a series of conflicts. Situations throughout the novel force Jane to make several decisions involving her conflicts, and is isolated and alienated from everyone else. Firstly, Jane is seen as a nuisance by her aunt, Mrs. Reed, because Mr. Reed passed Jane onto Mrs. Reed to be taken care of. An example of this is seen during Jane’s arrival to Gateshead, when Jane is attempting to restore her relationship with Mrs Reed. Mrs. Reed explains that “I have had more trouble with that child than anyone would believe. Such a burden to be left on my hands–and so much annoyance as she caused me, daily and hourly, with her incomprehensible disposition, and her sudden starts of temper, and her continual, unnatural watchings of one’s movements!” (Brontë 235). Mrs. Reed’s attempt to ignore Jane’s presence is mistreating her, not paying attention to her, and not allowing her children to pay attention to her either. This means that Jane has no one to talk to, which is how her isolation begins. The conflict created by this is the hostility that not only Mrs. Reed shows, but even her children, Georgiana, Eliza, and John show towards her. In addition to this, Mrs. Reed is jealous about the relationship between Jane’s mother and Mr. Reed, and the fact that Mr. Reed shows more care for Jane than his own children. This is proven during Jane’s visit to Gateshead, when Bessie asks Mrs. Reed why she wishes Jane would die. Mrs Reed explains “I had a dislike to her mother always; for she was my husband’s only sister, and a great favourite with him:  he opposed the family’s disowning her when she made her low marriage; and when news came of her death, he wept like a simpleton.  He would send for the baby; though I entreated him rather to put it out to nurse and pay for its maintenance.” (Brontë 235). Mrs. Reed mentions that Mr. Reed wept like a simpleton after Jane’s mother died, which implies that he cares a lot for Jane’s mother, which is another thing Mrs. Reed jealous about. This creates a conflict because Jane cannot appeal to Mrs. Reed no matter what, because Mrs. Reed has already developed a hatred for Jane before it was even in her control, because of Mr. Reed. Now that Mr. Reed is no longer alive and Jane is left in her hands, Mrs. Reed is able to take her anger out on Jane by isolating her from her other kids and mistreating her, in contrast to the rest of her kids. Furthermore, Mr. Reed’s death causes Jane to miss the quality of living a normal life with a family that isn’t abusive. “Me, she had dispensed from joining the group; saying, “She regretted to be under the necessity of keeping me at a distance; but that until she heard from Bessie, and could discover by her own observation, that I was endeavouring in good earnest to acquire a more sociable and childlike disposition, a more attractive and sprightly manner–something lighter, franker, more natural, as it were–she really must exclude me from privileges intended only for contented, happy, little children.”” (Brontë 6).Although Mr. Reed is so affectionate to Jane, he is no longer around to take care of her, forcing Mrs. Reed to. However, Mrs. Reed is contrary to him and shows only hatred and abuse towards her. This leads to her isolation because she does not get to experience living a normal life, and instead has to deal with the abusive Mrs. Reed. Therefore, the death of Mr. Reed causes Jane several conflicts even at the start of her life, and this sense of isolation and alienation that starts with Gateshead continues throughout the book. The death of Mr. Reed is the reason these events were triggered; having to live with Ms. Reed, having to go to Lowood, moving to Thornfield, running away, marrying Mr. Rochester, etc. Although Jane was able to solve the conflict of being trapped in Gateshead and separating herself from Mrs. Reed, Eliza, Georgiana, and John, the isolation continues. Not only this, but Jane’s isolation and several conflicts are created from her love for Mr. Rochester. Firstly, Jane is being tormented about Blanche Ingram having a better chance with Mr. Rochester than herself. This is seen when Jane sees her competition, Blanche Ingram. Jane also compares her imperfections to the perfections of Blanche Ingram. Furthermore, Jane cannot stop thinking about it and proceeds to think about it whenever she has the chance. This is shown when Janes thoughts are addressed; “When once more alone, I reviewed the information I had got; looked into my heart, examined its thoughts and feelings, and endeavoured to bring back with a strict hand such as had been straying through imagination’s boundless and trackless waste, into the safe fold of common sense.” (Brontë 162). This causes Jane to attempt to reject her feelings for Mr. Rochester. This also causes Jane to keep on thinking about the situation, having no control over her thoughts. This means that her feelings are developing more and more, causing her to lose control over her thoughts. She attempts to reject her thoughts and isolate herself from who she loves because of Blanche Ingram. Rochester manipulates this by pretending that he is going to marry Blanche Ingram until Jane confesses her feelings. Furthermore, Jane forcibly isolates herself from her only love, friends, and happiness by leaving Thornfield because of Mr. Rochester’s secret; already being married. “But the answer my mind gave–“Leave Thornfield at once”–was so prompt, so dread, that I stopped my ears. I said I could not bear such words now. “That I am not Edward Rochester’s bride is the least part of my woe,” I alleged: “that I have wakened out of most glorious dreams, and found them all void and vain, is a horror I could bear and master; but that I must leave him decidedly, instantly, entirely, is intolerable. I cannot do it.” (Brontë 302). Although the thought itself horrifies Jane, she is still able to endure the pain and leave Thornfield. Jane is forced to make one of the hardest decisions of her life because of this conflict. (stay or leave Thornfield). Lastly, Jane’s decision to accept the proposal of Mr. Rochester causes her to have to endure conflicts involving poverty, and results in Thornfield burning down, the suicide of Bertha, the loss of Mr. Rochester’s arm and eye, etc. Jane’s flight from thornfield causes nearly leads to a marriage with St. John, until she hears the voice of Mr. Rochester calling; “My heart beat fast and thick: I heard its throb. Suddenly it stood still to an inexpressible feeling that thrilled it through, and passed at once to my head and extremities. The feeling was not like an electric shock, but it was quite as sharp, as strange, as startling: it acted on my senses as if their utmost activity hitherto had been but torpor, from which they were now summoned and forced to wake. They rose expectant: eye and ear waited while the flesh quivered on my bones.” (Brontë 427) This leads to Jane finding out that Bertha had set fire to Thornfield and that Mr. Rochester had lost an arm and an eye. The decision of Mr. Rochester impacts not only Jane to make another decision; marry St. John or Mr. Rochester, but leads to Thornfield being burnt down and his loss of an eye and arm. These events only occur because of Bertha’s being revealed during the marriage of Jane and Mr. Rochester, which is all influenced by Jane accepting the proposal because of her feelings. Therefore, Jane’s love for Mr. Rochester not only leads to her self-rebuke, but also mental stress. This situation forces Jane to make several big decisions, such as running away from Thornfield or marrying St. John or Mr. Rochester. The impact these events have on Jane is that she develops a sense of self-control, because she is able to run away without having her feelings stop her. Jane also develops a moral standard, which is not letting others treat her how they want to treat her. In conclusion, specific scenarios that occur throughout the novel force Jane to make several decisions involving her conflicts, and is isolated and alienated from everyone else.


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