In Jane’s childhood, education takes the place of every single one of her emotional and physical needs.

M. Woodard
2/12/2013 11:26:20 pm

I completely disagree, for one we see Jane seek out companionship in Helen Burns as well as love towards Ms. Temple. Yes she does enjoy her education, but that doesn't mean that is the only thing important to her. After Mr. Brocklehurst ridicules her in public, she is extremely distraught at the thought of being shunned by her peers; clearly she seeks out some emotional needs through interaction with others.

Hunter H.
2/12/2013 11:32:49 pm

Disagree, jane clearly states when she tears Ms. Reed a new one "You think i have no feelings, and that i can do without one bit of love or kindness; but I cannot live so"(pg36). Yes jane appreciates her education and is eager to learn, but she still seeks out the affection of other human beings, such as her relationships with Ms. Temple and Helen.

Emily R.
2/13/2013 12:30:16 am

This is shown when Jane first meets Helen after Helen got in trouble and Jane says "But it seems disgraceful to be flogged..... I could not bear it" pg 58. Jane cannot fathom the thought of being shunned by her peers.

Nick McCaffery
2/12/2013 11:31:18 pm

At the same time, however, if you remember her time at school under Mr. Brocklehurst, even when she was under terrible living conditions, because of the education she was getting, she prefered the school to living with the reeds. Between this and the fact that Jane would read books at the window in chapter one to avoid the Reeds, it is pretty concretely established that education is not only her means of societal defiance, but also her own form of emotional escapism.

Morgan Taylor
2/12/2013 11:37:43 pm

Agree, when I see this I think of the era that Jane is growing up in. The "education" that she has is merely an anithestetic. What the women of this time period learned was how to play music, artistic skills, anda basic knowledge of foreign language such as Greek and Latin. This really doesnt make them well educated it makes them cultured. I think in Janes case education is a gateway to a mental getaway from the emotional and physical beatings she recieves everday.

Alex Price
3/1/2013 12:05:50 am

While I agree with Morgan that the education was almost therapeutic to her I think that it may have just been defense mechanism to avoid the social abandonment while at Gateshead. However, once she left and got to Lowood I feel she immediately felt the need to be accepted seeking friendship with Helen and her teacher Ms. Temple and education was just a bonus. However, however, she didn't find her true passion for education until she got to Lowood. So while I agree education was important to her at a young age I don't think it eclipses all of her social desires.

Addison B.
2/13/2013 02:28:19 am

I don't agree with education filling all of her needs but it does fill some of her emotional needs. In the beginning Jane is reading "Bewick's History of British Birds."(Pg.2) Jane would read books to not only learn but to help her escape from the emotional and physical needs she wasn't getting at Gateshead.

Dani W.
2/23/2013 07:23:13 am

Agreed. Although education satisfies Jane's mental fervour, her need for physical nourishment and companionship becomes evident in the scene with her, Helen and Miss Temple. Both she and Helen satisfiy their "famished appetites on the delicate fair she (Miss Temple) liberally supplied"(pg.78), but even more fulfilling to Jane was the friendship she shared with Helen and Miss Temple, as she quotes Solomon, "better is a dinner of herbs where love is, than a stalled ox and hatred wherewith" (p.81).

Melanie M.
2/27/2013 06:11:39 am

I agree with both of you. She never seems to be completely satisfied when she is learning at Lowood. There is something missing. She is never trully okay with being there in the terrible living conditions until she meet Helen and Miss Temple.

Jasmine T
2/13/2013 08:10:17 am

Disagree. education is important to Jane and helps her escape when she needs to, but she also cares about having friends and earning respect. "I had meant to be so good, and to do so much at Lowood; to make so many friends, to earn respect, and win affection." (pg. 73)

Ashton T
3/1/2013 06:07:38 am

Disagree. Jane loves many characters in the story: Bessie, Adele, Helen Burns, Miss Temple, Ms. Fairfax, Mr. Rochester, Marry, Diana, and St. John. Education is not the only factor in Jane's emotional needs. "There is no happiness like that of being loved by your fellow creatures, and feeling that your presence is an addition to their comfort.” (pg 283)

Mackenzie M.
2/13/2013 11:58:08 pm

I think at Gateshead, books were Jane's escape from her miserable family. But once she arrived at Lowood, she realized that she could experience love and acceptance, so she didn't need books as much, although she was eager to learn. This is shown when Ms. Temple left and Jane states that Lowood is no longer her home.

Rubab T
2/14/2013 09:55:54 am

I disagree because when Mrs Temple left Jane did not want to be at Lowood anymore where she was getting an education "From the day she left I was no longer the same: with her was gone every settled feeling, every association that had made Lowooed in some degree a home to me"(Bronte).Jane wants more than just education
she left because she was not getting the affection that Mrs Temple gave her.

Lucia E.
2/14/2013 11:26:43 am

But also that can be the end of Jane's childhood, and the beginning of her adulthood. Jane didn't live because she was gaining any affection form Mrs. Temple, but only restless in Lowood and wanted to start a new chapter of her life "I desired liberty; for liberty I gasped; for liberty I uttered a prayer" (pg.94). Jane wants is freedom.

Caitlin F
2/17/2013 11:42:51 am

Jane thinks education is important, whether she realizes it or not (i think? where she is reading all those different history and adventure books in the beginning). but it does not satisfy all of her emotional and physical needs. she tells off her aunt for thinking Jane does not feel any emotions; she shudders at the thought of being shunned and hated by her peers and says she would rather be in extreme pain than to be shunned and says so to Helen in Lowood. As for physical needs, yes, reading a good book by yourself is restful and refreshing for some. But physical needs also go right along with emotional needs; emotional stress makes you tired and wears out your body along with your spirit

Megan B
2/20/2013 09:16:27 am

I disagree, yes education can take you far. However, the physical aspect is not fulfilled through education. Jane can not eat words to fill her stomach, she can not read stories that fill her heart of love without feeling empty afterwards. Though her education can help her in getting those emotional relationships they do not help her in everything.

Ana E
2/26/2013 10:27:42 am

Agreeing back with Mackenzie. Jane spent so much of her time reading her books and using education as an escape. But once she went out to experience the real world, she didn't have to hide behind her novels anymore and she was able to open herself up.

Addi B
3/1/2013 10:46:02 am

I agree with the statement that Jane can not eat words so therefore her physical needs are not taken care of. I think it's kind of ironic how she goes to Lowood for education and a lot of people are saying that that fills all her emotional and physical needs. Lowood doesn't feed the girls muchand also they don't have nice living quarters. So even though eduction (Lowood) takes care of her emotional needs it never fully takes care of her emotional needs. Once she learned everything and the people she attached to emotionally left she left because all she needs were no longer met.

Stephanie D
2/26/2013 11:27:05 pm

I agree that she let's education take over her life as a child, but at the same time she still has a desire for compassion, and it starts when she is a child. While staying focused on her education, she meets Miss Temple and Helen and develops a relationship with them and sees that she needs compassion in her life. She has both educational and emotional needs all at once, in her younger and older life.

Kyle W.
2/26/2013 11:31:04 pm

I disagree, from Jane's first days at Lowood, she sees learning as a way to earn friends, and respect. This means she still has some need for emotional ties in her life, but that she sees them as being more of superficial.

Maria k
2/27/2013 09:08:08 am

Education is Janes only way of being equal to others. Janes only way of improving her life is education.

Rachel W.
2/27/2013 10:27:04 am

Disagree. Although education is very impotant to Jane and helps her escape she develops relationships with people like Mrs. Helen and her best friend Helen whose companionship is very important. "I'll stay with you, dear Helen: no one shall take me away."

Tatiana C.
2/27/2013 11:09:51 am

I agree, but only after Helen died. School fulfills Jane's Physical and emotional voids after the school has undergone inspection and been improved. She lives a life that is rather static but finds her happiess in excelling in school. "During these eight years my life was uniform, but not unhappy, because it was not inactive. I had the means of an excellent education within my reach; a fondness for some of my studies, and a desire to excel in all, together with a great delight in pleaing my teachers... urged me on." (pg. 92)

Rae G.
2/28/2013 09:41:45 am

Disagree, Jane says she never had brothers or sisters and that St. John could not understand the craving she had for that kind of love (pg.549). Jane wanted to be loved by her cousins but never was and education did not replace that for her, she continued to want it until she found Diana, Mary, and St.John.

Tori B
2/28/2013 09:54:10 am

I can see where this would be true in her childhood; certainly the food and physical needs are not properly cared for while she is at Lowood and one can argue perhaps that -besides being the protagonist of the novel- education took care of all her needs and so she did not get sick like all the other girls. We seem to find that throughout the novel when Jane is going through a difficult time, she turns to knowledge and learning. While in childhood education provides for her physical needs, we find that later in the novel Jane uses it as an escape from the more painful emotional memories. It's easier for her to learn another language, read another book or teach another lesson than to do the emotional work. Education is what gave Jane an outlet to all her emotional energy and taught her to rule with her head and not her heart, so it's natural that when she is in an emotional crises in her life she runs again to knowledge as her comforter to assure her that all of her decisions were right as long as they were made with her head.

Graham G.
2/28/2013 12:18:05 pm

Though we see that education is definitely an important factor in Jane's early life, I would have to disagree with the view that it takes precedence over her body and spirit. The unsuitable conditions when she first arrives at Lowood are a major argument for Jane's attention to her physical needs. She hardly seems concerned with education when her first meal at Lowood proves inedible and she is forced to go back to her schoolwork still "ravenous and now very faint." As for her emotional needs, I believe that they were overall better attended to by her school experiences than were any educational ones. Of course Jane leaves Lowood highly cultured and in a fair position to become a successful governess, but the true benefit of that establishment was its nurturing effect on Jane. She leaves some eight years later having formed the ability to relate to others (certainly more civilly than with the Reeds). Her emotional intelligence outweighs her academic accomplishment in terms of real-world utility.

Callie T.
2/28/2013 01:16:29 pm

After Helen died, education became Jane's only way of being equal to others. The only way of improving her life was through education; thus, resulting in her becoming a governess.

Morgan S
2/28/2013 11:46:34 pm

I disagree. It does not take the place of EVERY need, which can be seen when Jane finds companionship with Helen, and Bessie, and even Mr. Rochester for a brief period of time. She searches for a connection with other human beings. On page 36 while speaking to Mrs. Reed Jane says “You think I have no feelings, and that I can do without one bit of love or kindness; but I cannot live so,” proving that education is not her only solace.

3/1/2013 03:59:33 am

"In Jane’s childhood, education takes the place of every single one of her emotional and physical needs."

At Gateshead Hall education truly does take the place of Jane's emotional needs as it, in this case education equating reading, provided an escape from the horrible conditions she faced with the Reeds.
This escape provides a supplement to human interaction, however, at Lowood she begins to become more involved with others. In the pressence of a true "family" (demonstrated in the dinner scene with Helen and Mrs. Temple) she is incredibly content, this to me shows that education doesn't completely take the role of human interaction and her "emotional needs". She's not a complete introvert, rather she seeks emotional stimulation and education was the only medium that provided it.

Karis P.
3/1/2013 05:02:36 am

Although Jane does not outwardly show it often, she longs for human interaction. This is shown when she seeks out the relationships of Helen and Ms. Temple and thrives on them. The education may have seemed to take care of her emotional and physical needs from an outside view at Gateshead, but the way she seeks love and affection at Lowood shows that she is missing the satisfaction of vital needs.

Victoria B.
3/1/2013 06:37:13 am

I agree. As a child, Jane's life is consumed by education. She is often reading books by the window. However, when she gets to Lowood, Jane meets people like Ms. Temple and Helen, and ultimately finds the emotional relationships she needs in life. As she becomes more socialized, she experiences the care that she never got at Gateshead.

Crissy T.
3/1/2013 09:00:01 am

I think that Jane uses her education, not as a replacement for her emotional needs, but as a way of coping with lack emotional fulfillment. Since she does not recieve much kindess or love at Gateshead her only way to compensate that love is by reading and learning. Also, education is a way for her to feel mentally superior to John Reed since he is physically supereior to her.

Addi B
3/1/2013 10:36:46 am

The morning Jane leaves for Lowood she is so "excited with the thoughts of a journey"(pg40) that she couldn't eat breakfast. I believe she was excited for the new place where she was to learn because she does not look forward to the people. On page 39 she says "I will soon have another set of people to dread." She associates all the people in her life who could give her emotional fulfillment with dread and dislike. She is excited to go learn because fills her needs that she needs at the time.

Amanda C.
3/1/2013 12:03:38 pm

I agree,
At Gateshead, Jane is constantly let unsatisfied with the lack of love and acceptance her Aunt and cousins offer. Lowood replaces her lack of family comfort by surrounding Jane in an academic atmosphere that gives a needed structure to Jane's life. Nothing is plentiful at Lowood, as everything is stripped down to necessity, but Jane gains a greater satisfaction at Lowood. "I would not now have exchanged Lowood with all its privations for Gateshead and its daily luxuries." p81

Rebecca P.
3/1/2013 12:25:05 pm

I disagree because on page 35 she releases all her emotions to Mrs. Reed and made this decision by thinking to herself that she must speak because she "had been trodden on severely, and must turn." I believe education is more of an escape and we can infer this when she is caught reading by the window, which could symbolize her wanting to escape, to get away from reality.

Kristen S.
3/1/2013 12:28:23 pm

Back at Gateshead, Jane uses books, her favorite educational tool, to fill her emotional turmoil and emptiness from her family. The physical needs she requires aren’t met but she distracts herself by reading and doing lessons. Then when she goes to Lowood, Jane still hides behind her books when she first meets Helen by saying, “...the title...Rasselas- a name that struck me as strange, and consequently attractive... ‘Is your book interesting?’” (p. 51) as a physical need of social interaction. Her emotional needs are also met after Helen dies through this same book by the inscription on her grave that read Rasselas on it, along with Helen Burns, of course. This mainly just helps Jane grieve, even after the fact, but show her emotion through the most common way she knew how, through her education.

Maria k
3/1/2013 03:06:57 pm

agree.Janes education takes place of all of her relationships.her education takes place of living relationshipships.

Tyler E.
3/2/2013 07:49:14 am

Agree, Jane never really gets to experience interacting with other people. But when she attends school she is able to experience it all first hand.


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    February 2013