Jane Eyre

Pdf fan dd71f526917d6085d66d045bd94fb5b55d02a108dd45d836cbdd4abe2d4c043d Tap here to download this LitChart! (PDF)
Food Symbol Icon
In Jane Eyre, food symbolizes generosity, nourishment, and bounty, and hunger symbolizes cruelty and a lack of nourishment. Brontë uses food and hunger to reveal how people treat each other—who is charitable, and who isn't. For instance, the lack of food at Lowood reveals the school's cruelty and religious hypocrisy. Ms. Temple, on the other hand, provides food and is compassionate and generous. Food has religious significance in the novel as well—physical hunger represents a deeper spiritual craving.
Get the entire Jane Eyre LitChart as a printable PDF.
Jane eyre.pdf.medium

Food Symbol Timeline in Jane Eyre

The timeline below shows where the symbol Food appears in Jane Eyre. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 4
Love, Family, and Independence Theme Icon
Social Class and Social Rules Theme Icon
...to her with a new "frank and fearless" attitude. Bessie treats her to stories and cakes and tells Jane she likes her better than the Reed kids. (full context)
Chapter 5
Love, Family, and Independence Theme Icon
Social Class and Social Rules Theme Icon
Gender Roles Theme Icon
...in formation. Students share beds in long dormitories, and must eat sparse and sometimes inedible meals. (full context)
Love, Family, and Independence Theme Icon
Gender Roles Theme Icon
The school's superintendent, Ms. Maria Temple, intervenes to provide some better food. Ms. Temple also teaches several subjects. Jane respects her for her kindness and knowledge. (full context)
Chapter 6
Social Class and Social Rules Theme Icon
On Jane's second day at the school, she wakes up shivering to a meager breakfast. She finds that her wash water is frozen in its pitcher. (full context)
Chapter 7
Religion Theme Icon
...weather. They are constantly cold and underfed. In sympathy, Jane gives most of her small meals to other starving girls. (full context)
Chapter 8
Love, Family, and Independence Theme Icon
Religion Theme Icon
Feeling vs. Judgment Theme Icon
The Spiritual and the Supernatural Theme Icon
Ms. Temple brings the two girls to her office and treats them to tea and cake. Jane tells Ms. Temple that she is not a liar, and relates her life story,... (full context)
Chapter 28
Love, Family, and Independence Theme Icon
Social Class and Social Rules Theme Icon
...ask for work, which is scarce. She tries to exchange her gloves and handkerchief for food, but she is refused. Burning with shame but desperately hungry, Jane begs at a farm... (full context)
Chapter 29
Love, Family, and Independence Theme Icon
Social Class and Social Rules Theme Icon
Religion Theme Icon
...On waking on the fourth day, she finds her clothes cleaned and gets a hot meal. She criticizes Hannah for turning her away the night before. Hannah apologizes, then tells Jane... (full context)