In Chapter 4 of Jane Eyre, why is Jane more outgoing and open with Bessie after her victory over Mrs. Reed, and how does Bessie respond? What do Bessie's and Jane's conversation reveal about Jane?Why doesn't she tell Bessie about her encounter with Mrs. Reed?

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After Jane rebukes Mrs. Reed for lying about her, she states that she "enjoyed my conqueror's solitude":

Something of vengeance I had tasted for the first time, as aromatic wine it seemed....

Even though Jane feels some "after-flavor, metallic and corroding" that gives her a poisoned feeling, she realizes that...

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After Jane rebukes Mrs. Reed for lying about her, she states that she "enjoyed my conqueror's solitude":

Something of vengeance I had tasted for the first time, as aromatic wine it seemed....

Even though Jane feels some "after-flavor, metallic and corroding" that gives her a poisoned feeling, she realizes that to apologize to Mrs. Reed is "the way to make her repulse me with double scorn...." With this new-found strength, Jane is more assertive with Bessie, saying, "Come, Bessie!  Don't scold."  Jane narrates,

The action was more frank and fearless than any I was habituated to indulge in:  somehow it pleased her.

Obviously, Bessie is impressed with Jane's defending herself.  She promises to have tea with Jane and treats her with great kindness.  When Jane assertively tells Bessie, "...you must promise not to scold me any more till I go,"  Bessie agrees and instructs her,

'Well, I will:  but mind you are a very good girl, and don't be afraid of me.  Don't start when I chance to speak rather sharply:  it's so provoking.'

'I don't think I shall ever be afraid of you again,...but I shall soon have another set of people to dread.'

'If you dread them, they'll dislike you.'

Thus, Bessie reinforces the lesson that Jane has just learned in her encounter with Mrs. Reed:  People will treat one in the manner that one allows them to.  Since Bessie already knows this lesson, Jane does not bother to tell her about the incident with Mrs. Reed.  In addition, little Jane is so happy to receive affection that she does not wish to spoil her happiness by taking a chance on telling Bessie what has occurred: "Even for me life had its gleams of sunshine."

 

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