Must Keep In Good Health

| 3 Comments

Bronte, Jane Eyre
Writing About Literature--EL 237

When I the assigned section of this story there was one exchange that I found ineresting in Chapter 4 between Jane Eyre and Mr. Brocklehurst:

"Do you know where the wicked go after death?"
"They go to hell," was my ready orthodox answer.
"And what is hell? Can you tell me that?"
"A pit full of fire."
....
"What must you do to avoid it?"
"I must keep in good health and not die"

I love it! This exchange shows the complete pragmatism that Jane has about life and she is only ten. Now I have not read this book before but I'm beginning to see the character of Jane being built up in this story. I think this is becoming a theme in Victorian novels: Children are being abused, ophaned, and basically ignored. I think that the Victorians had some sort of messed of view on how a child go through hard times. Jane just embodies the "keeping you head above water" attitude at such a young age and her character demands some sort of attention. I have a question:

Do you think that Jane's attitude will get her far into the future in her novel?

3 Comments

Yes, I do think her attitude will get her far. Though she does place much esteem in how others view and treat her, she doesn't let negative treatment overly dampen her spirits. If she's not happy, she does something about it. She doesn't just sit back and let things happen.

There is no reason why someone should go through life being sub-servient to other people. You must stand up for yourself, otherwise people will walk all over you. Jane is a very wise girl at a very young age. Her attitude may get her into trouble, but at least she knows she's doing what is right.

Later on in the novel, Jane's perpetuity for stadning up for her self will no doubt clear her of the charge of "wicked girl".

I think that the novel in itself is about that very attitude of Jane's. I haven't finished it yet either, but I have a feeling that her attitude is going to get her in a lot of trouble while at the same time being her salvation.