100 Figures in the Novels: Mrs. Reed

A short story about Mrs. Reed in the book Jane Eyre, Charlotte Bronte.

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 Story about Mrs. Reed
Mrs. Reed was a woman of cold and rigid demeanor, her presence casting a shadow over the halls of Gateshead Hall, the grand estate she called home. From the moment Jane Eyre arrived on her doorstep as a young orphaned girl, Mrs. Reed made it clear that she had little love or compassion to spare for her niece.

Raised in a world of privilege and entitlement, Mrs. Reed was accustomed to getting her own way, her every whim indulged and catered to by those around her. But beneath her polished exterior lay a heart consumed by bitterness and resentment—a heart hardened by years of disappointment and disillusionment.

As the mistress of Gateshead Hall, Mrs. Reed ruled her household with an iron fist, her word law and her judgment final. She showed little kindness or affection towards Jane, treating her more like a burden than a member of the family, and subjecting her to neglect and abuse at the hands of her own children.

But even as Mrs. Reed reveled in her power and authority, she could not escape the nagging sense of guilt and shame that plagued her conscience. She knew that she had treated Jane unjustly, that she had failed in her duty to care for her as she would her own children. And though she tried to bury her guilt beneath a veneer of indifference, it lingered beneath the surface, a constant reminder of her failings as a mother and a human being.

As Jane grew older and more independent, Mrs. Reed's resentment towards her only deepened. She saw in Jane a reflection of everything she wished she could be—strong, independent, and unyielding in the face of adversity. And though she tried to suppress her jealousy and resentment, it bubbled to the surface in moments of anger and frustration, poisoning her heart and soul with its toxic presence.

But even as Mrs. Reed clung to her bitterness and resentment, she could not escape the consequences of her actions. When Jane's fiery spirit finally boiled over and she lashed out at her cruel aunt, Mrs. Reed was forced to confront the truth of her own cruelty and neglect. And though she tried to justify her behavior with excuses and rationalizations, she knew deep down that she had failed Jane in every possible way.

In the end, it was Mrs. Reed's own bitterness and resentment that consumed her, her heart consumed by the darkness that lurked within her. And as she lay on her deathbed, haunted by the ghosts of her past, she knew that she could never escape the consequences of her actions. For though she had wielded power and authority with impunity in life, in death she was left with nothing but regret and remorse—a bitter reminder of the price of cruelty and indifference.

Other figures in the book:
Bessie LeeEdward RochesterJane EyreSt. John Rivers