Inside and Outside Jane Eyreand Marginalization through Labeling Date:1996 On Jane Eyreby Charlotte Brontë Author:John G. Peters From:Jane Eyre, Bloom's Guides. Throughout the novel, Jane appears as a threat to the other characters. Either because she is an intruder from outside the community, because she is an enigma, or because her ideas are threatening, the other characters marginalize Jane in order to dismiss her or her ideas and thereby transform her into something non-threatening. From the very outset, the characters exclude Jane; even as a child she is isolated from the social group: Eliza, John, and Georgiana were now clustered round their mama in the drawing-room … Me, she had dispensed from joining the group; saying, "She regretted to be under the necessity of keeping me at a distance; but that until she heard from Bessie, and could discover by her own observation that I was endeavouring in good earnest to acquire a more sociable and child-like disposition, a more attractive and sprightly manner,—something lighter, franker, more natural as it were—she really must exclude me from privileges intended only for contented, happy little children."1This scene is indicative of Jane's situation at Gateshead, and her otherness in relation to the Reeds remains unchanged throughout the novel. Even later at her aunt's deathbed, Jane says of Mrs. Reed, "Poor, suffering woman! it was too late for her to make now the effort to change her habitual frame of mind: living, she had ever hated me—dying, she must hate me still" (p. 242). Gateshead becomes representative of Jane's position outside the social order as a whole. Except for those at Lowood and Marsh End (who are also social outsiders in part), the other characters in Jane Eyregenerally exclude Jane from their social spheres, and they do so in various ways. For example, John Reed says to Jane, "You have no business to take our books: you are a dependent, mama says; … you ought to beg, and not live here with gentlemen's children like us, and eat the same meals we do, and wear clothes at our mama's expense" (p. 11). He wants to separate Jane from himself by removing from her some of the outward signs of their similarity. Similarly, Mrs. Reed also marginalizes Jane; Jane recalls, "[S]ince my illness she [Mrs. Reed] had drawn a more marked line of separation than ever between me and her own children; appointing me to a small closet to sleep in by myself, condemning me to take my meals alone, and pass all my time in the nursery while my cousins were constantly in the drawing-room" (pp. 26–27). By separating Jane from her own children, Mrs. Reed removes her from the Reeds' social group, placing Jane instead among the servants. And when Jane falls ill during the red-room incident, Mrs.