The Maturing of Jane in Jane Eyre
When a caterpillar hatches from its mother's egg, it enters this
world as an innocent, pure creature. As time passes by, it unwraps its
cocoon and goes through metamorphosis. Once the caterpillar grows into a
fully developed butterfly, it has lost its innocence and purity forever.
Jane was an inexperienced caterpillar but her stay at Lowood and her
challenging time at Thornfield with Mr. Rochester has changed her into an
independent, matured butterfly.
When Jane was young, she taught herself to be virtuous. Her aunt's
criticisms and punishments has made Jane realize that she wasn't treated as
part of the family. Her development of determination and self-reliance
become more superior each day she spent at Gateshead. Jane states: "...I
hate to live here." This quote proves that Jane hated Gateshead and she
was determined to find a better place.
The place Jane found was the Lowood Institution for orphans. It
was not a better place but it helped Jane stand on her own feet. Through
the help of Helen Burns, Jane has learned to love, forget hatred and live
her life in happiness. Helen states: "Life appears too short to be spent
in nursing animosity, or registering wrongs." These words shows that Helen
is more mature and experienced than Jane. Jane observes: "Miss Temple is
full of goodness..." Miss Temple was another great influence in Jane's life,
she treated Jane as if she were her own daughter. We realize now that Jane
was no longer alone. She had friends to love her and guide her to the next
step in life. Jane had not only gained more experience and confidence, she
also achieved a great education during her eight years at Lowood.
Jane's next destination was Thornfield where she was to become the
governess of Adèle, an orphan just like her. Adèle's presence reminded
Jane of her old self and her awful childhood at Gateshead. Jane taught Adè
le good virtues and the vicissitude of life. She wanted Adèle to have a
better childhood than she did. Jane was happy at Thornfield mainly because
of Mr. Rochester's love. The following quotation states that Jane has
fallen in love. "...I have learnt to love Mr. Rochester, I could not unlove
him now..." It is obvious from these words that Jane had lost her innocence.
She was no longer Jane Eyre, she was soon to be happily married to the man
she loves. You might think that all Jane's pains would come to an end but
they have just started. Mr. Rochester was not the honest man Jane had
thought he was, he had another wife living at Thornfield. Jane's feelings
were crushed, her hopes and dreams shattered in front of her own eyes. Her
miseries had led her back to where she started. I believe that Jane had
gained more than she had lost. The strength she had gained from the
breakup was more valuable than the actual love she had experienced.
It is clear now that Jane has matured and grown from a frail young
girl to an experienced adult. The obstacles she encountered during her
stay at Lowood and Thornfield has made her stronger both physically and
emotionally. Helen, Miss Temple, and Mr. Rochester will always remain in
Jane's heart. As Jane grows older, she will look back at these memories
and reminisce her indescribable feelings.
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