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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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