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A Lack of Love

Assessment Model Print

Okay Literary Analysis

In this fair response to literature, a junior analyzes the character of Mrs. Reed in Jane Eyre.

Title: A Lack of Love

Level: Grade 11, Grade 12

Mode: Response to Literature

Form: Literary Analysis

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Student Model

A Lack of Love

Most people who read Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte would consider Mrs. Reed to be a bad person. Sure, she is rich, but that doesn't matter if you don't have love to give. Mrs. Reed's lack of love makes Jane's life miserable, and Mrs. Reed's fake style of love hurts her own family, too. As a result, people don't love her, either.

Mrs. Reed's lack of love first harms Jane. Mrs. Reed vowed to take care of Jane but cannot love the girl and so treated her badly. Jane did everything right but got treated like she did everything wrong. Meanwhile, John Reed does everything wrong and gets treated like he does everything right. This is because Mrs. Reed would not allow herself to lose her pride when she raised Jane.

Mrs. Reed has no love for Jane, but also shows fake love to her own children. John got spoiled by her behavior. He never learned to take responsibility for his actions. He grew up to be a gambling addict. Mrs. Reed should have trained him better and should not have paid for his losses. Instead, she keeps him addicted by giving him money and then cuts him off suddenly, and he kills himself. Mrs. Reed also spoiled her daughters. Georgiana grows up to be a self-centered social climber. Eliza grows up to be a nun. Neither of them want much to do with their dying mother. She gave them everything they wanted but never had real love for them.

Mrs. Reed's lack of love gives her a tortuous life. Mrs. Reed can't forgive Jane even though Jane isn't the one who did the wrong. Mrs. Reed was supposed to be the adult. Jane was just a child! Mrs. Reed says she can't forgive the horrible way Jane treated her, but what about sending Jane away to boarding school? That was even more horrible. At least Jane got an education. Mrs. Reed just got mad. Despite being a woman of high status, she is not thought of as a good person. Mrs. Reed represents herself as cruel, unkind, and reprimanding. This cruelty shows itself throughout Jane Eyre.

Mrs. Reed's lack of love gives her a tortuous death. She was unwilling to accept Jane’s forgiveness and she had become removed from her daughters’ lives. She was unable to have these connections with her family because of this. When Jane and Eliza see Mrs. Reed’s corpse, Jane states that Eliza “turned and left the room, and so did I. Neither of us had dropped a tear” (Bronte 258). She loses so much because she cannot love Jane.

Mrs. Reed's lack of love for Jane ruins her own life but not Jane's. The Beatles said, "Money can't buy me love" and "All you need is love." Mrs. Reed proves that to be true. Too bad she came along a century too early to learn from the Beatles.


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