Jane Eyre Questions and Answers
by Charlotte Brontë

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What is the social role and place of the governess in Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte?

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The protagonist of Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte is Jane Eyre. In the novel, Jane begins as an unwanted and rather persecuted orphan who becomes a governess by being diligent in her studies (and learning to curb her impulsiveness and temper). When she has been a paid teacher at Lowood for two years, Jane advertises herself as a governess and does get a position. She has a suitable education to be a governess, even at the age of eighteen;

"She is qualified to teach the usual branches of a good English education, together with French, Drawing, and Music" (in those days, reader, this now narrow catalogue of accomplishments, would have been held tolerably comprehensive).

Now that she has a job, the most difficult aspects of being a governess are about to become realities to her. 

As a governess, Jane lives in many worlds yet not wholly in one. In one respect, she is a member of the family, yet she is not allowed to be quite so familiar as a sister or mother would be. She is also as well...

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