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Can anyone help with some ideas for a psychoanalytic report on Jane Eyre as a child?

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brandih | eNotes Employee

Posted October 17, 2013 at 5:44 PM via web

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Can anyone help with some ideas for a psychoanalytic report on Jane Eyre as a child?

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accessteacher | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted October 17, 2013 at 7:11 PM (Answer #1)

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A psychoanalytical report on Jane Eyre when she was a child would no doubt have to focus on the way that she demonstrates considerable rage and strength when she is in her frenzy. Note the way in Chapter One that Jane Eyre describes how she bested her cousin John, a boy older and stronger than herself:

He ran headlong at me: I felt him grasp my hair and my shoulder: he had closed with a desperate thing. I really saw in him a tyrant: a murderer... I don't very well know what I did with my hands, but he called me "Rat! rat!" and bellowed out loud.

The way in which Jane seems to lose awareness of what she actually does suggests that she became so overpowered by her emotions and her anger that she loses any sense of reason or rational thought. Bessie and Miss Abbot, when they bear Jane to the Red Room, describe her as a "wild cat," suggesting considerable strength and passion. This is further suggested in Chapter 4 when Jane accuses her aunt to her face of having acted towards her in a terrible way and her aunt responds in a fashion that indicates she is incredibly worried and concerned about the passion with which Jane uttered those words. A psychoanalytical assessment of Jane as a child must therefore grapple with the inconsistency between Jane's behaviour, particularly when she is angry or feels that an injustice has been commited against her, and her inability to see how out of the ordinary her behaviour is. Looking at her behaviour from this perspective, it perhaps makes it easier to see how Jane's aunt was so concerned about her and how she didn't really know how best to look after her. It clearly suggests Jane is dealing with massive anger and rage issues that she barely supresses, and when they are unleashed, she is a force to be reckoned with. 

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