What gives Jane her first experience of vengeance in chapter 4, and what is her first reaction?
Jane gets the opportunity for some major payback on Mrs. Reed in chapter 4. Jane's aunt and her vile offspring have made the young girl's life an absolute misery ever since she arrived at Gateshead. But as Jane will soon be leaving this house of horrors to start a new life at boarding school, she won't have to take such unpleasant treatment for much longer.
When Mr. Brocklehurst, the supervisor of Lowood School, shows up at Gateshead to interview Jane, he's far from impressed by what he sees. The young lady isn't on the same wavelength when it comes to religion as the aloof, self-righteous Brocklehurst. She doesn't even find the Psalms interesting, which Brocklehurst finds almost scandalous.
For good measure, Mrs. Reed chips in with some spiteful comments, describing Jane as a liar and as being deceitful. Jane is absolutely furious to hear her wicked aunt cast such aspersions on her character. Ordinarily, she wouldn't be able to do anything about it, but not now. As she'll soon be leaving Gateshead for good, she can afford to give Mrs. Reed a piece of her mind.
And when Brocklehurst leaves, that's exactly what she does. As well as defending her character, Jane tells Mrs. Reed to her face that she's glad she's not her relation. For good measure, she also tells Mrs. Reed that she's hard-hearted. After her little rant, Jane feels a sense of triumph and exhilaration; she declares herself the "winner of the field" and revels in her "conqueror's solitude."
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