‘Jane Eyre’ is a novel written by Charlotte Bronte in the year 1847. The novel is about a woman, who is giving an account on her life story. The novel ‘Jane Eyre’ reflects Back to Charlotte Bronte’s life. Question: Discuss the differences between the characters, Mr Broklehurst and Miss Temple. How does Charlotte Bronte use these characters to express her views about Victorian values/society? According to the question put forward, Charlotte Bronte used the characters Mr Broklehurst and Miss Temple, from the novel ‘Jane Eyre’ to make known her views on the Victorian society.
This question basically means; interpret the dissimilarities between Mr Broklehurst and Miss Temple, and how Charlotte Bronte uses these characters to articulate her personal views on the Victorian society. During the Victorian era there were a lot of issues. People were divided into different classes: upper, middle and lower class. All these classes were treated differently and unfairly. The upper class were the highest of the classes; they were treated with the most respect and honour.
Middle class then was divided into, upper and lower middle class. Upper middle class were treated more or less the same as upper class individuals, they were respected and people below them obeyed them. Lower middle class middle class mostly consisted of orphans who were dependents; people who were of a higher class then raised them. Working class was the lowest class of them all; the majority of them were treated like slaves, and were not given any self-respect. Nearl...
y all of them had jobs even the children.
Women of that era were not given any rights: they were not allowed to vote, they were not allowed to pursue an occupation outside of their home, even if they had a job it would have been lower down the scale. Children at that time were seen, but not heard. Lower class children were mostly treated like slaves, while a nanny or governess raised upper class children. Also in this era there were a lot of health issues. There were lots of diseases and illness that were dangerous, and could not be cured because; there was no modern technology and vaccinations.
Charlotte Bronte Has written this novel because, she wants to verbalize her own views on the Victorian society, and how she disagrees with them. She also wants to declare that people, should be treated fairly and equally no matter their class. Mr Broklehurst is a tall, cruel and insensitive man. He is the administrator of Lowood Institution for Orphans; he was the son of the schools founder Naomi Broklehurst. He believes he is a religious man, but he does not seem to understand the basic tenets of his religion.
Whilst the orphans suffer, at the hands of cruel teachers, receiving inadequate food and wear Spartan clothes, he and his family enjoy the comparative luxury. His power over the orphans end, however when there is an out break of typhus and his insufficiency is discovered. Miss Temple is pretty, learned and dignified women, loved and respected by all the girls at Lowood School. She is the superintendent of Lowood, and shows anything like affection to the girls,
and tries to help them. She treats Jane and Helen with respect and compassion.
She is admired and seen as a role model by Jane, who becomes her friend when she becomes a teacher herself at Lowood. When Miss temple gets married to a clergyman and leaves Lowood School, Jane feels abandoned. The main difference between Mr Broklehurst and Miss Temple is that, Mr Broklehurst is a man, and Miss Temple is a woman. The reason why Charlotte Bronte has got Mr Broklehurst as a man is because; men in that era were seen as the dominant sex, they were more superior to women. Women then were treated like second-class citizens.
Charlotte Bronte is speaking out about women’s rights by making the character, a man and bad. Charlotte Bronte made Miss Temple as a woman because; Miss Temple is representing Charlotte Bronte and her views on how people should be treated. Mr Broklehurst’s views over power that of Miss Temple’s, her views are seen as secondary, and do not want to be heard.
This shows men of those times were unfair to women. Mr Broklehurst first meets Jane in Gateshead she describes his features: ‘A black pillar!…… he grim face at the top was like a carved mask,……… a bass low voice,…… all the lines of his frame were equally harsh and prim. ‘ (Page 27) Charlotte Bronte gives him these unlighted, sunless negative features because, she wants to express her views on how the Victorian values were, and how they were improper. The depiction makes the readers detest Mr Broklehurst, thus they dislike his beliefs.
There is another description give by Jane at Gateshead: ‘What a great nose! And what a great mouth! And what large prominent teeth! (Page 28) Charlotte Bronte has given him these wolves like features because; she is referring to the fairytale ‘Little red riding hood’ and the ‘Big bad wolf’, presenting Mr Broklehurst as the ‘baddie’. On the other hand Miss Temple’s features are the complete opposite of those of Mr Broklehurst: ‘Tall, fair, and shapely,…… beaming brown eyes,…… her hair, of a very dark brown, clustered in round curls,…… her dress, also in the mode of the day, was of purple cloth,…… a complexion, if pale, clear’ (page 44)
Charlotte Bronte gives Miss Temple a Light and fair image because; she wants to convey a positive reaction by the readers to Miss Temple/Charlotte Bronte. Charlotte Bronte is also adhering to Victorian literacy convections, by making Miss Temple the ‘Goodies’ who has a soft and fair image, and Mr Broklehurst the ‘baddie’ who has these harsh, dark and stern looking image. Charlotte Bronte uses these ideas from fairytales. Mr Broklehurst would not allow the orphan girls give into vanity and temptation. For example he would not give them extra food, nice clothes or even allow them to have curls in their hair.
Also he preaches the values of Christian sacrifice, he is somehow unaware of the extremely fashionable way that his wife and his daughters dress: ‘The younger of the trio had beaver hats, then in fashion, shaded in plumes, and from under the brim of this graceful head-dress fell
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