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The clergyman, headmaster and treasurer of Lowood School, he commonly mistreats the children in his care.
History and characterization
Mr. Brocklehurst is introduced in chapter five, to interview Jane to go his charity school, he imminently sets up his character, but denouncing Jane as a bad child purely because her aunt says so, and she doesn't enjoy reading Psalms.
Mr. Brocklehurst himself is made clear to be an almost fanatical Christian, however he also uses it to justify his actions, by taking quotes and phrases out of context and applying them to situations he meets, such as "man shall not live by bread alone" to rebuke Miss Temple for giving the girls an extra meal when the porridge was burnt. His mistreatment is made clear by the fact he forces them to endure the most harsh, plain and disciplined lifestyle possible, demonstrated by the lack of food he supply's them and his expenctance for them eat spoiled and rotten food, the inadequateness of their clothing, all of which is thin, even though it snows heavily in the winter, and the girls are forced to walk two miles to go to church without boots, as well as lack of proper insulation as there water regally freezes making it impossible to wash or such, and there room is described as drafty. He also makes clear that he is severally out of sync with what is actually going on, as he commonly rants on about how he is helping them become good children, despite commonly seeing the horrible conditions he forces them to live in. He is also highly hypocritical, constantly professing aid and charity being Christian duties and himself as devout Christian, when he does exactly the opposite, likewise despite forcing the girls to have only one set of clothes, and denouncing the use of rich clothing as bad for them, its revealed moments later that he gives his own children lavish and luxurious clothing, complete with exotic and expensive furs.
He also makes clear that he doesn't believe, the lower-class that the children, and all lower class citizens are as important or good as richer people. He even demonstrates the desire to control the girls to the point where he forces them to have haircuts, simply because he doesn't think they should have much of anything. Upon meeting Jane again, he publicly slanders her in front of the whole school.
However following a break of Tuberculosis, which leads to the deaths of half the students, Mr. Brocklehurst finally meets his comeuppance, as a public investigation reveals all his mistreatment. As such he is removed from any active role in the school, losing all his influence in how it is, and although remaining in his wealthy position, he loses all his credibility, and is only mentioned twice more in the book.