In the opening paragraphs of the book, it is clear that Jane is in a very isolated position within the Reed household. Jane is small and plain and these factors have an effect on her behaviour. She tries to develop her character by intelligence and knowledge in order to be noticed, and more importantly loved. She reads books, such as “Gullivers Travels’, ‘Bewick’s History of British birds’, she is also read books such as ‘Henry, Earl of Moreland’. These books feed her imagination, because she has a thirst for knowledge, and they also give her a chance to escape from her challenging life at Gateshead Hall.
I believe that she uses her knowledge from the books to defend herself against bullying and victimisation from the Reed’s. This is clearly presented when John Reed torments her, and attacks her. She uses characters from the book, Goldsmiths ‘History of Rome’ as metaphors for the behaviour of John Reed when she answers back to his actions aimed at her. Her actions here also show her as strong willed, conceited, and precocious. It is clear that Jane is not afraid to stand up to people, as she feels she has nothing to loose, but unintentionally, her personality results in her leaving to go to school.
This is something Jane has always wanted to do. She is made to feel inferior to everyone, by having no one on her side; even the servants unite against her. This therefore makes Jane very isolated within the house. Jane has very low self-esteem, arising from the Reeds inability to love her. She believes that this is because she is unattractive, and does not ‘fit in’ with them. However, Jane does not blame all her unhappiness on them, as she too has an inability to love the Reeds. Jane has never received or given love, as she has never had the chance.
This inexperience has caused her to become characterised by rudeness and rebellion. Jane’s imagination is quite incredible in its ability to such deep forceful thinking. She often scares herself with her mind. She does this when she is feeling most depressed and humiliated, for example, when she is locked in the red-room. In conclusion, Jane Eyre has a very strong personality, which many people find hard to cope with. Her attitudes often end her up in trouble, but by the time she is at Lowood, she learns to control her stance. It is clear, at the opening of this novel, that Jane strives for love, and acceptance.