Miss Temple | Character Analysis in Jane Eyre

Miss Temple | Character Analysis in Jane Eyre

Character of Miss Temple

Miss Temple is the superintendent of Lowood School. She is a very gentle, noble, and sympathetic lady who is full of the milk of human kindness. She is utterly unlike Mr. Brocklehurst who is the director of the school, and who has given her strict orders not to grant any concessions to the orphan girls who are studying at the school and residing in the school’s boarding house as charity students.

It is against her will that Miss temple enforces Mr. Brocklehurst’s directives regarding the food to be supplied to the girls. She is expected to save every penny on the food which, under Mr. Brocklehurst’s orders, is hardly adequate for the growing girls and which, besides, is not very nourishing, with the result that most of the girls remain weak and anaemic. Occasionally, Miss Temple does violate Mr. Brocklehurst’s instructions, and provides extra rations to the girls, especially when she finds that the food is under cooked or over-cooked and is not really worth eating. On one such occasion, she receives a reprimand from

Jane Eyre receives much sympathy and kindness from Miss Temple. After Mr. Brocklehurst has openly humiliated Jane, and Jane has later told Miss Temple that she is by no means a deceitful girl, Miss Temple writes a letter to the apothecary, who had been attending upon Jane during her illness at Gateshead-hall, asking him what kind of a girl Jane is. As the apothecary sends a favourable report about Jane to Miss Temple, Miss Temple takes the earliest opportunity to inform the teachers and the students that Jane is not at all given to deceit or to telling lies. Miss Temple’s exoneration of Jane of all the charges, which had been brought against her by Mr. Brocklehurst, greatly relieves Jane and provides much comfort to her.

The character of Miss Temple accords fully with her name. She embodies the best contemporary tradition of the “lady”. She is a pious and gentle soul in whom religion and love are restrained by training, custom, and social habit. She represents what is known as “the well-regulated mind”. Jane accepts Miss Temple’s authority completely because Miss Temple provides love and food for both the body and the mind.

However, when Miss Temple leaves the school after her marriage, her influence over Jane vanishes overnight, leaving Jane a prey to her dissatisfactions and her aspirations, Miss Temple’s role is important because of the consolation and the solace which she provides to such unfortunate girls at the school as Jane and Helen Burns. Besides, as already pointed out, she serves to represent what is best and finest in feminine nature. Furthermore, she offers a striking contrast to Mrs. Reed and also to Mr. Brocklehurst. Jane’s love for Miss Temple is as natural as her hatred for Mrs. Reed is.

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