How Does Charlotte Bronte Show Hardship in Her Portrayal of Childhood?

How does Charlotte Bronte show hardship in her portrayal of childhood?

Charlotte Bronte shows hardship in her portrayal of childhood through the characters, the dialogue and description. We learn that life in Victorian England is hard.

    ‘John Reed was a school boy of fourteen years old’. He was a fat boy with ‘unwholesome skin’, ‘thick lineaments’ and heavy limbs. This shows that John Reed was a very unhealthy child, who would probably stuff his face at the table like a pig which gave him ‘bleared eyes’ and ‘flabby cheeks’. He was a selfish individual who disliked Jane and believed she did not belong in the Read family.

    However Eliza was strong and brave, ‘who was headstrong and selfish’ she would have been well respect as she was the daughter of the rich Miss Reed.

    Georgiana had a very bad temper and an attitude problem. She had ‘a spoiled temper, a very acrid spite, a captious and insolent carriage’. Georgiana was very pretty girl her beauty, her pink cheeks and golden curls, seemed to give delight to all who looked at her and to purchase indemnity for every fault.

    Bronte has made Jane look so innocent and sweet, but Mrs. Reed is not accepting it. Mrs. Reed treats Jane completely different from her own children. She singles Jane out and makes her suffer by not welcoming her into the family in a good way. For example when Mrs. Reed ‘lay reclined on a sofa by the fireside, and with her darlings about her’, Jane had been had been ‘dispensed from joining the group’. This shows Mrs. Reed does not want to mix with Jane and has no interest in her.

    Jane's cousin John is the member of the Reed family that physically holds power over her. ‘He bullied and punished me: not two or three times in the week, nor once or twice in the day, but continually: every nerve I had feared him’ ... Up until Jane's fight with John, she was expected to remain silent until she could ‘speak pleasantly,’ she also took all of her abuse without reply....