What are some good traits of Mr Brocklehurst in Jane Eyre?

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

This is a fascinating question, as Mr. Brocklehurst is one of the least likable characters in all of English literature. He is the emblem of the Victorian hypocrite, leaving the girls at his Lowood school shivering and half starved while he lives in warmth and well-fed comfort in a large...

See
This Answer Now

Start your 48-hour free trial to unlock this answer and thousands more. Enjoy eNotes ad-free and cancel anytime.

Get 48 Hours Free Access

This is a fascinating question, as Mr. Brocklehurst is one of the least likable characters in all of English literature. He is the emblem of the Victorian hypocrite, leaving the girls at his Lowood school shivering and half starved while he lives in warmth and well-fed comfort in a large house. He also seldom fails to lecture his pupils on their descent into the fire and brimstone of hell should they continue to sin, and as far as he is concerned,  they are sinners.

In his favor, however, he is good to his own family, and he is consistent, if extremely unpleasant, in his message to his young students. More importantly for Jane, his condemnation of her leads her to become more popular with her schoolmates, all of whom dislike and distrust him. Finally, when illness hits the school, he stays away to protect himself, allowing the girls the chance to live more freely and eat more fully. But, in fact, as portrayed through the eyes of Jane, he is a thoroughly repugnant figure. 

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team