Jane Eyre: Plot & Action in Chapter 1

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  • Plot & Action In Jane Eyre in Chapter 1
    • Chapter summery
      • Jane is isolated & alone
      • Jane-10yrs old
      • living at Gateshead Hall with her Aunt Reed & young cousins
      • uncle, John Reed(mothers brother) recently died
      • the weather is dark and gloomy-reflects Jane's mood in the chapter (this is called pathetic fallacy)
      • Jane's treated as an outcast and is a burden to her aunt and cousins
      • Jane hides behind a curtain in the library and reads one of her uncles books. when she is found behind the curtain by her cousin John, John abuses her by hitting her with a book really hard that she loses consciousnes and called her a poor and unwanted cousin
        • Jane responds to Johns actions by fighting  back and attacking him
          • due to Jane's actions her aunt locks her up in the red room where her uncle died
    • AO1: Read, understand and respond to texts
      • Key Theme: Isolation
        • when Jane is reading His Uncle's book "Bewick's History of British Birds" the pictures of the book with their descriptions of bleak, cold and isolated places mirror Janes feelings
      • Key Character: Jane
        • we immediately see that Jane has a strong personality and questions the behaviour of those around her which in those times was regarded as unsuitable for young girls to do. The fact that she also stands up to John, a big bully in Jane's eyes, shows Jane's strong nature and desire for equality.
      • Key Quote
        • 'Did ever anybody see such a picture of passion'
          • when Mrs reed and servants find out that Jane is fighting with John , Jane hears them comments this
          • this shows that Jane not only has an unwanted passionate nature but also that this quality is not viewed to be an attractive or desirable quality
      • Key link: independence
        • Jane's independence changes throughout the book as in different points of the story Jane wants to be independent such as when he insists St John Rivers to find her a job
          • this idea maybe influenced by Jane's childhood as she was dependant on the Reeds and was seen to be a burden to them and she hated it
    • AO2: Analysing language
      • Pathetic Fallacy
        • "with its clouds, and a rain so penetrating, that further outdoor exercise was now out of the question"
          • the pathetic fallacy reflects Jane's situation in the miserable whether and this influences the reader to empathise with Jane. this idea is reinforced by Jane's use of the adjective "sombre" as it reflects Jane's mood
      • Hyperbolic statement
        • "there was no possibility of taking a walk that day"
          • this is the opening sentence (the first sentence of the whole book)- rather than being a standalone moment, like in most books, this sentence is the beginning of a discursive paragraph deftly bringing in landscape, whether, and social issues. (all the major themes throughout the book)
          • the first sentence quickly establishes the voice of the narrator as it is flexible and  authoritative
    • AO3: Show  understanding of the relationships between texts and the contexts they were written in
      • Key context:
        • Charlotte Bronte mother, like Jane Eyre's died when the author was very young
          • Jane is often described as reflecting many of Bronte's own life experiences e.g. Bronte falling in love with her wedded teacher that unlike in Jane Eyre she didn't get married to.


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