A Blight Upon the Reeds

An Interview with John Reed

Gateshead - Jane Eyre's autobiography details what one can more commonly refer to as a gross exaggeration of her time spent at Gateshead. The Reeds are a wealthy family that offered her plenty but instead were taken for granted. 

Mrs. Reed inherited her fortune and estate from her husband. Jane was lucky enough to be grouped in with her family despite her social standing. This is our the interview our reporter conducted with John Reed. Provided is the inside scoop of the current head at the Reed household: John Reed.

Q: "So John, when first reading this book you really seem to come out as the first person that held any animosity against Jane.                  How would you like to address this concept that Jane writes about? Specifically, when she states, 'Jane is not here: tell mama she is run out into the ran - Bad animal!'"

Reed: "Oh, I might have assumed this is what the interview would entail. I thought you might be more curious about the Reed family itself and how wealthy and carefree we are now that we are rid of her. However, I will answer your questions as I have nothing to hide."

Q: "Oh please do go on. I am simply asking for your thoughts on her writings."

Reed: "Well you see the thing we have to remember is that she was a terrible burden on us. In fact she brought merely nothing to the table. One might refer to it as a parasitic relation that we had. We are Reed's, we do not have to work to live in our own Estate. Jane however, frequently avoided contact with us, used our things, and did not contribute to any household chores. Thus, the parasitic relationship."

Q: "Well it seems that you have stated your opinion. Do you think that is entirely fair of you to be so abrupt with her? She did say at some point that she was, 'endeavoring in good earnest to acquire a more sociable and childlike disposition.' That's the reason she often used your things to educate herself?"

Reed: "You have missed my point completely. Jane was more of a household pest. An educated household pest is still just that, a pest. Had Jane Eyre truly wanted to find a home among us she would have brought value of labor into the house before she merited herself with what she calls an 'education.'"

Q: "So in the eyes of the Reed's Jane did not support her position in your family because of her selfish tendencies to use your things?"

Reed: "Well yes. The view that we had was that she should know that she is being given a life that she would not have had if she grew up with her family. She should have been grateful and carried out duties around the house in show of appreciation. The way I see it she constantly challenged my position as the upcoming head of the estate. Not to mention I witnessed her disrespect my mother on various accounts. I believe there is something there along those lines."

Q: "Yes, I believe the excerpt goes, 'Jane, I don’t like cavillers or questioners; besides, there is something truly forbidding in a child taking up her elders in that manner.' You see this as disrespect towards your mother?"

Reed: "Yes, if she claimed she were trying to attain her "childish" demeanour then when was all of that rebellious attitude come from. I can tell you, in her defense, that she definitely benefited from being removed from our Estate. Had she lingered her she might never have learned how to work for anything."

Q: "Thank you Mr. Reed. You have given us plenty of insight into Jane Eyre's childhood. We really appreciate your time here at the Brontillian."