Volume 1, Chapter 3

Synopsis of Volume 1, Chapter 3

Jane falls ill and spends more time in the company of Bessie, the nurse, who shows her some kindness; but it is clear that she and the other servants prefer Jane's more conventionally beautiful and ladylike female cousins. Mr Lloyd, the kindly local doctor, suggests that she should have a change of scene.

Commentary on Volume 1, Chapter 3

apothecary A person allowed to mix and dispense medicines but not a fully qualified doctor.

forgive you, for you knew not what you did See Jesus's words about those who torment and crucify him: Luke 23:34: ‘Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do'. This is an example of the older Jane, who is narrating her story, commenting on events in the past.

Gulliver illustrated by Louis RheadGulliver's Travels Published in 1726 by Jonathan Swift (1667-1745), the book recounts Gulliver's journeys to many mythical countries, including Lilliput, where everyone is very small so Gulliver is a giant, and Brobdingnag, where the inhabitants are giants so Gulliver is very small.

‘In the days when we went gipsying' A song with this title, composed by N. J. Sporle, with words by the English singer Edward Ransford (1805-76), was published in the USA in 1839.

‘My feet they are sore' The author of this song is unknown, but its words have a clear application to Jane's experiences later in the novel.

Guy Fawkes Guy (or Guido) Fawkes (1570-1605) was one of a group of Roman Catholics who attempted to blow up King James I and Parliament on 5 November 1605. Fawkes was chosen to ignite the explosives and was arrested in the cellars of the Houses of Parliament. The anniversary is marked in England with fireworks and sometimes with the burning of an effigy of Fawkes.

just as if she were painted This description of Georgiana by Abbott again says a great deal about how girls were expected to look and behave and the extent to which Jane – described as ‘a picture of passion' in Chapter 1 – fails to meet those expectations. See Charlotte Brontë and childhood.

Investigating Volume 1, Chapter 3
  • How does this chapter add to our understanding of the novel's representation of childhood experience?
  • What do we learn about the role played by servants at Gateshead Hall, and particularly in relation to Jane?
  • What part does the doctor, Mr Lloyd, play in the chapter?
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