In Charlotte Bronte’s, Jane Eyre, Jane goes through numerous self-discoveries, herself-realization and discipline leads her to a life she chooses to make her happy. Jane Eyre has a rough life from the start. Forced to stay with people who despise her, Jane can only help herself. Jane must overcome the odds against her, which add to many. Jane is a woman with no voice, until she changes her destiny. The novel Jane Eyre
, by Charlotte Bronte consists of continuous journeys through Jane’s life towards her final happiness and freedom.
From the beginning, Jane possesses a sense of her self-confidence and
contentment. Her integrity is continually tested over the course of the novel, and
Jane must learn to balance the frequently conflicting aspects of her so as to find
contentment. There are many ways in which Bronte shows Jane’s tribulations, through irony, honor, and tone.
Charlotte Bronte includes many different aspects to this novel. “ One of the keys to power of Jane Eyre is Bronte’s deployment of multiple genres” (Clarke 2). Clarke says that there are many levels to the book; the book can have a greater depth than a love story, but as a tale of strength and endurance.
Jane Eyre has a rough start to her foundation, to begin she is orphaned at a young age
. This sets up many problems for the young girl and her fragile identity. The people around worsen the situation as Jane grows. They challenge her patience, integrity, and intelligence. As a female Jane must deal with the caste system
of her time as a threat, and as an orphaned child she must deal with the cast system as an obstacle. The family of Reeds that she lives with reminds her everyday of her low position. “She suffers precisely because she knows the value of caste; She may be poor, but she does not want to belong to the poor” (Bell 2). This makes Jane want to thrive more because she realizes the odds against her. Originally, Jane comes from a middle-class family but when her father dies she is left to the pity of the Reeds. The Reeds mistreat Jane and she grows to long the outside world. Jane clearly shows her position when she says, “ It is as natural as that I should love those who show me affection, as submit to punishment when I feel it is deserved”. (54) Jane says much in this statement, such as how Jane longs for a family or a close loving relationship- that reflects later on to Jane’s love interests, or how she disapproves of her punishments because they are unjustified. Jane cares for the Reeds as people because of Jane’s loving natural way but won’t show affection to those who mistreat her.
Jane’s childhood can be looked at as severe in many instances. Jane grows up with no family to love or no family to love her. She is looked down upon at by society because she is an orphan and a woman. Jane has to counter-
Balance her family and society at the same time, she says, “ Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you and despitefully use you” (Bronte 54). Although, people are insensitive to Jane she ‘turns the other cheek’ and dreams of a time when she can get away and better her life. “ Jane Eyre’s family is essentially like Cinderella’s but as this is a novel and not a fairytale, Bronte is able to use the novels realism to explore the social an psychological forces that destroy women’s integrity” (Clarke 7) By drawing a parallelism from both stories Bronte can use the seriousness of the real story to make it more dramatic. Bronte also uses the realism to bring up other aspects of how Jane’s character is tried to be destroyed through temptation and deceit. “She suffers not only from the weakness of female-hood but from the further insecurity of the poor person always threatened with a pauper’s helplessness” (Bell 2). Jane must ascend to help herself and make her life better. Because of Jane’s upbringing she longs an escape, Jane reflects back to this time. “ I desired liberty, for liberty I gasped; for liberty I uttered a prayer; it seemed scattered on the wind then faintly blowing” (Bronte 83). Jane desires this freedom but she fears it will never come. Then one day her wish is granted and she will be sent
to school. Jane is exhilarated, this her only chance of becoming more that a poor woman, all alone with no family and no money. The theme of Jane Eyre is self-discovery and dependence. Jane’s first chance to become closer to herself and farther from the Reeds happens when she goes off to school. The Reeds see this as them getting rid of Jane, but for Jane’s future it is a stepping stone. Jane also sees this opportunity as a releasement from her horrid family. Jane does not see how much school will help her truly gain her own independence. At first Jane has excitement for going to school, until Mrs. Reed tells
Mr. Brocklehurst lies about Jane. These malicious things affect Jane’s new entry into Lowood, but Jane has to make the choice to move on from the last of the Reed’s influence over her. Her next nemesis becomes Mr. Brocklehurst due to the lies, he also tries to gain control over her with embarrassment. Mr. Brocklehurst makes Jane be the dunce and says that no one will be allowed to talk to her for the rest of the day. This makes Jane feel down and out about herself, until Jane meets Helen and Miss Temple. Helen and Miss Temple disobey Mr. Brocklehust and talk to Jane, they try to make her feel better. Jane explains how she feels that nobody will talk to her now that they think about lies, and about her destroyed reputation. Miss Temple says, “ We shall think of you what you prove yourself to be my child.” (Bronte 67) This statement helps Jane very much it makes her self-esteem rise. None of the teachers or students knew
Jane, so Jane could make herself what she wanted to. Breaking another barrier of self-humiliation, Jane has another chance to move on and begin her life. “Miss Temple’s hearth provides the first home for Jane’s intellect and spirit.” (Clarke 4). Miss Temple helps Jane see how things really should be in a loving, nurturing relationship. This new understanding helps Jane grow and think of what she wants for her life to be happy.
Jane grows from the first experiences at Lowood and decides to stay there many years. “ She finds at Lowood at least one admirable teacher as a model and begins her own career as a teacher.” (Bell 2). Miss Temple has a magnificent influence on Jane, not only does she help Jane set into Lowood, she gives Jane a path to follow for the future. Jane teaches at Lowood for many years and then she begins to long for that exciting freedom again. “During the eight years [at Lowood] my life was uniform: but unhappy, because it was inactive” (Bronte 81). Jane likes uniformity and structure, but desires excitement. Jane spends all of her time at Lowood wishing and hoping for more in her life. Then Jane makes the decision to leave and find a job as a Governess. “Such education at Lowood provides makes possible a of independence through self-support” (Bell 2). Jane’s only key to self-dependence equaled education. Education became more than a job to Jane, it released Jane from the Reeds and now it helps her create her own life and support system. “Jane makes a momentous descision, at age 18, to leave her stultifying school and strike out on
her own.” (Zoglin 2). This courageous action means a lot to Jane, she relinquishes everything she has ever known . Jane wishes to move on and support herself.
Jane’s new idea of self-acceptance and self-actualization leads her to a more exciting life. Jane believes, “”It is in vain to say human beings ought to be satisfied with tranquility: they must have action; and they will make it if they cannot find it.” (Bronte 108). This says a lot and Jane creates her excitement. “She leaves Lowood to enter upon her new life” (Mordell 102). Jane receives a job as a Governess at Thornfield. Jane works very hard at what she does and becomes committed to her job. The master of the house is rarely home and does not meet him until after she has been employed there for quite awhile. Jane encounters Rochester one day while she lounges outside. Rochester has an accident and stumbles up to Jane after his dog.