The passage from Page 36, second paragraph to the end of the third on the page.
“I reflected. Poverty looks grim to grown people; still more so to children: they have not much idea of industrious, working, respectable poverty; they think of the word only as connected with ragged clothes, scanty food, fireless grates, rude manners, and debasing vices: poverty for me was synonymous with degradation.”
“’No; I should not like to belong to poor people,’ was my reply.”
“’Not even if they were kind to you?’”
“I shook my head: I could not see how poor people had the means of being kind; and then to learn to speak like them, to adopt, their manners, to be uneducated, to grow up like one of the poor women I saw sometimes nursing their children or washing their clothes at the cottage doors of the village of Gateshead: no, I was not heroic enough to purchase liberty at the price of caste.”
In volume 1 of “Jane Eyre” by Charlotte Bronte, Jane Eyre is greatly characterized by the passage on page 36 that takes the readers though the thoughts and feelings of Jane as her doctor asks her questions. With the use of the knowledge of a child’s mind, sophisticated diction, and Jane Eyre’s own opinion of herself in the passage, Bronte is able to show Jane as a mature and intelligent young girl.
Jane is able to look back on her thoughts and choices and give a deep explanation of her thought process even at a young age. Jane is able to see how being a child alters her choice making habits. Poverty is an intimidating image to image oneself in, “still more so to children: they have not much idea of industrious, working, respectable poverty.” Jane is able to see how her view of poverty maybe partly exaggerated because of her age. Even at her young age she is able to understand that being young affects her thought. The passage allows the readers to be able to see Jane’s mature state of mind. The readers can see her thought process and her thoughts about the poor life. It is easy to agree that Jane has control over her thoughts and is well educated based on the way she reflected about poverty with a child’s mind.
The use of such sophisticated diction in the passage amazes the readers that a child is able to reflect to such an adult level of mind. To a child, poverty means having no money for good food, clothes, education, or a fancy home. Jane is able to expand upon the idea of poverty that it is truly, “industrious, working, respectable poverty.” However, she still have trouble getting over the fact that she believes poverty is “synonymous with degradation.” The use of such sophisticated vocabulary allows the reader to believe that Jane is well educated. Words like “degradation,” “grim,” or “scanty,” allow the readers to see the harsh world Jane envisions. Based on the choice of words in the passage; the readers can see Jane’s exact thoughts about poverty and the deep thought she puts into the delicate topic.
Lastly, the ability for Jane to reflect on herself though out the passage allows the readers to ability to see Jane’s maturity. Jane is able to see what part of living a poor life scares her. To her degradation and poverty are the same things. She fears of living in a much lower standard of life where she would be “with ragged clothes, scanty food, fireless grates, rude manners, and debasing vices.” Jane is able to see her fears of being uneducated and living their life. Even though she wants to find to live with people who truly care about her, she is not brave “enough to purchase liberty at the price of caste.” The ability to look at one self and admit their own flaws demonstrates high levels of maturity even many adults have problems expressing. The passage allows the readers to see Jane’s astonishing talent to understand herself.
With the use of the passage, Jane is easily characterized to be a mature and intelligent young girl. Her ability to understand the differences in though processes between children and adults show her knowledge of different viewpoints. Her sophisticated language gives the readers the impression that Jane is able to deeply describe her thoughts in a well organized manner. Jane’s own ability to reflect on herself throughout the passage shows maturity in such a young age. The passage is rich with Jane’s thoughts, feelings, and character which allows the readers to adore her maturity, openness, and humble attitude.