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How do Mrs. Reed, Mr. Brockelhurst, Mr. Rochester, and other characters lie to...

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kikoisflip | Student, Grade 9 | eNotes Newbie

Posted November 24, 2009 at 9:22 AM via web

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How do Mrs. Reed, Mr. Brockelhurst, Mr. Rochester, and other characters lie to Jane?

Topic: deception

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neneta | High School Teacher | Valedictorian

Posted November 26, 2009 at 9:11 PM (Answer #1)

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Mrs. Reed is Jane’s auntie. She had promised her husband to take care of Jane and to treat her as one member of the family. However, Jane becomes a burden to Mrs. Reed. After an incident between Jane and his cousin John Reed, in which he bullies her, Jane is sent to the Red Room, where she experiences feelings of fright and panic. As a result, Mrs. Reed decides to send Jane to Lowood, a boarding school for orphans. She lies to Mr. Brockelhurst, the master of Lowood, by telling him that Jane is a deceitful child. Many years late, when Mrs. Reed is in her deathbed, she confesses that she had also lied to Jane’s healthy uncle, who lives in Madeira. She assured him that Jane had perished in school, during an epidemic of typhus. The following passage shows Jane’s bewilderment:

“Why did I never hear of this? I asked

“Because I disliked you too fixedly and thoroughly ever to lend a hand in lifting you to prosperity…” Chapter XXI

Mr. Brockelhurst is a typical Victorian character. He is a clergyman that proclaims to follow the Christian doctrine. However, what he thinks about goodness and evil is far from being in accordance with Christianity. Furthermore, he professes charity by using religion to justify his attitudes. Still, he is neither charitable nor sympathetic when he proclaims that Jane is a liar. His statement is false. Nevertheless, Jane has to endure this deceit until Miss Temple receives a letter from Mr. Lloyd asserting that those accusations are untrue and fabricated.

To analyse Mr. Rochester character, we have to put the novel in its historic context. In the Victorian era, the gentleman was on the top of the social stair. Mr. Rochester responds to the criterion of a gentleman since he owns a big estate and belongs to rural gentry. His father was wealthy and after his brother’s death, he became the master of Thornfield. Likewise, he can establish his own rules, like hiding an insane wife in the attic and preventing it from being known. He lies to Jane because he is in love with her. Her moral attributes attract him, since she is different from the women he met before. Jane guides her master into a moral path and Rochester believes that Jane will rescue him from his tormented life. Nevertheless, the presence of Bertha Mason forces Jane to flee Thornfield, after having refused to become his master's mistress.

Another character also lies to Jane. Grace Pool, Bertha’s guardian, often gives inaccurate justifications in order to keep the secret of Bertha Mason. Nonetheless, Bertha’s lies are also justifiable since Rochester is her employer. When Jane asks Grace Pool about the fire in Rochester’s bedroom, she answers:

“Only master had been reading in his bed last night; he fell asleep with his candle light, and the curtains got on fire” chapter XVI

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