Sample essay topic, essay writing: With Detailed Reference To Chapter 7 Discuss Brontes Presentation Of Mr. Brocklehurst - 1669 words
With detailed reference to chapter 7 discuss Bronte's presentation of Mr. Brocklehurst Chapter seven sees Jane slightly more experienced to the ways of Lowood School. She has come to accept the poor conditions laid down by Mr. Brocklehurst, however has not yet learnt to ignore them and Bronte describes Jane suffering a lot in this chapter. This lack of food and appalling living conditions are down to the head of the school, Mr. Brocklehurst.
This man uses his apparent strong beliefs in Christianity as an excuse to provide the children of Lowood with the absolute bare minimum. Brocklehurst claims his "mission is to mortify in these girls the lusts of the flesh", presenting the idea that perhaps Brocklehurst is simply a man that has a immensely firm grasp of his beliefs and has made it his "mission" in life to enlighten others into the ways of christianity. This idea is however proved corrupt with the entrance of his three daughters. They are described as "splendidly attired in velvet, silk and furs", which brings an immense sense of hypocrisy down onto the impression the reader gets of Mr. Brocklehurst, and suddenly his doctrine of privation is for the first time exposed as a possible method of stealing from the school to support his seemingly luxurious lifestyle. Brocklehurst enters chapter seven with an aura of fear about him, and Jane states that she "recognized almost instinctively that gaunt outline", presenting him as a predator. The use of the word "instinctively" gives the situation an animalistic feel, and the whole school fear this predator
He is described as taking "a long stride [which] measured the school room", suggesting that he is observing the room quietly, and when he is described as a "black column" the atmosphere becomes increasingly ominous and forboding. Bronte introduces an interesting theme here. Jane describes Brocklehurst as "looking longer, narrower and more rigid than ever" and it is later revealed that Mr. Brocklehurst and Miss Temple are the talking about the need for needles to repair the girl's clothes. This could be comparing Brocklehurst to a needle, with the intention of fixing the girls souls; however a needle is hardly a pleasant image, so what could be the gentle image of a caring man doing his best to ensure all these little girls go to heaven is transformed into a quite sadistic image.
Needles are assosciated with piercing and pain in general, and the fact that Brocklehurst should be compared with this is a clue towards his cruel personality. Shortly after, Brocklehurst gives a short lecture to Miss. Temple ('Madam allow me an instant..starve their immortal souls!') proclaiming the righteousness behind his puritanist doctrine he forces upon the girls. He speaks to Miss. Temple in a civil tone, however he maintains a superior, self-obsessed tone throughout. His beliefs are directly spoonfed to the reader here, he simply reels them off and this is where the reader's initial interpretation of Brocklehurst simply being an immensely cruel man with no empathy whatsoever is replaced with a view of him being a religious fanatic.
He is not portrayed as hypocritical at this stage, simply quite obsessive towards his beliefs. It is possible to interpret him as a decent human being here, as it appears he genuinely believes that unless the girls live a life following a set of standards like what he is putting across here they will without go to hell. The girls had recently been prepared extra food after their breakfast was spoilt. He states that a 'judiscious instructor' would take this oppurtunity to refer to the 'suffering of primitive christians' and the 'torments of martyrs', suggesting that he genuinely believes he is creating faithful martyrs out of the girls by treating them like this. He quotes from the Bible 'If ye suffer hunger..happy are ye', apparently valuing this quote and doing everything he can to inflict this upon the girls. He ends by saying 'When you put cheese and bread, instead of burnt porridge..you starve their immortal souls', using powerful pursausive language to get his beliefs across.
The speach mantains a patronising atmosphere of self righteousness throughout, and this is achieved through Mr. Brocklehurst's method of instructing and informing. His superior tone is an indication towards his actual personality. Mr. Brocklehurst is portrayed as a very authorative figure, and appears to have a way of imprinting his mannerisms upon people in his close vicinity, possibly through a mixture of sheare fear and his very intense personality.
The atmosphere Bronte puts across is very different when he is in the room. Miss. Temple, known throughout the period of the book as a kindly person is influenced as well by his intensity. She is described as 'assuming coldness and fixidity' of marble while talking to Mr. Brocklehurst, and the mention of 'requiring a sculptor's chisel to open' her mouth suggests that Brocklehurst has indeed managed to 'sculpt' Miss. Temple into a cold mirror of himself, even if just for this short period in the book. The following incident involving Mr.
Brocklehurst's apparent aversion to noticeably different pupils, in this case one with curly hair, is where we start to see the change from a particularly zealous christian to a dictative hypocrit. He begins by asking 'what - what is that girl with curled hair'. This shows clearly his belief that he is far superior to the girls, in particular people that show some variation inside his idea of perfect christians. His emphasis on the word 'what' singles out Julia Severn, suggesting she is inhuman and is a discrimination towards her, something of course good christians would be unable to do, as the Bible preaches against it. He states that he 'desire[s] the hair to be arranged closely', again developing on the idea that he is trying to mould everyone within the school into a mass of girls each exactly the same as the last. His next self righteous speech is very similar to the first.
He raises himself above everyone else by stating that he has 'a Master to serve whose kingdom is not of this world' and that he has been given a 'mission' by this Master. This elevates him high above everyone else by linking himself directly with God, he almost seems to be trying to proclaim himself as God's right hand man or personal servant. We can see Janes disapprovement of his attitude with her short statement when his daughters arrive. She says that 'they ought to have come a little sooner to have heard his lecture on dress', a little cocky although true statement describing her belief of Brocklehurst being hypocritical. Soon after Jane drops her slate, Brocklehurst becomes not just cruel but spiteful.
Whereas with the hair incident he didn't appear to be enjoying it here he seems slightly sadistic, enjoying Janes fear. He speaks in a loud, excited tone that seems to be trying to get everyone to look and rally behind him. He exclaims 'A careless girl!' when she drops it, and the use of the exclamation mark suggests he is pleased with the fact that he has a reason to pick on someone. His tone continues to pick up; 'it is the new pupil, I perceive.' The word order and use of comma here helps add to the excited feel. He is shown to be speaking quickly ('before i could draw breath') which again adds to the overall excited feel.
He quickly orders a punishment, 'Fetch that stool' is very blunt and decisive, possibly suggesting he is quite ruthless and impulsive, again against what a good christian man should be. He continues to give out these short orders ('place the girl upon it') and Jane is placed upon a stool in front of her classmates and pubicly ridiculed by Brocklehurst, however she is described as being at the height of Mr. Brocklehurst's nose, so although she is in a place that is very embaressing for her, Brocklehurst still retains the dominance in the room as he is still the largest, most threatening person in the room. Brocklehurst throws his weight around a bit here, and really beats Jane down, using his reputation as a righteous clergyman. He accuses her of basically everything opposite to what he is teaching as morally right, namely being a lier, to clearly put across to his brainwashed pupils that she is not to be assosciated with, and thus punishing her far more effectively than a short term punishment. This suggests that Brocklehurst could well be an intelligent man as well as spiteful and hypocritical. Espescially if he is aware of his hypocrisy, and is running the whole school as a source of immense profit rather than what he claims his values to be, this would obviously take at least some intelligence to carry out successfully.
Brocklehurst continues to degrade Jane as well as promote Mrs. Reed, and we learn nothing new from his continuation of these actions. Throughout chapter seven we see Brocklehurst behaving in a variety of ways, he is initially portayed as religious zealot whose soul wish is to 'save' as many little girls as he possibly can, however he quickly develops into a patronising, although intelligent, hypocrit, with the hair scene. As much as this is a harsh punishment, there is no evidence that he is doing it for satisfaction. However use of language when the spotlight is turned to Jane suggests he is also a cruel and spiteful on top of these other characteristics.
All in all Bronte portrays Brocklehurst as an all out bad guy by the end of the extract, interested solely in supporting his exuberant, luxurious lifestyle with profits made by giving the girls the bare minimum to live and using his adopted christian values as an excuse for this he gets away with it. Brocklehurst is later replaced, so something was obviously wrong and the authorities clearly saw this. Bronte succeeds in presenting Brocklehurst as the bad guy he is supposed to be.
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