Jane Eyre Essay: Refusal to Sacrifice Moral Principles

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Refusal to Sacrifice Moral Principles in Jane Eyre The need to love and to be loved is a general characteristic basic to human nature. However, the moral principles and beliefs that govern this need are decided by the individual. In the novel Jane Eyre , author, Charlotte Brontë, vividly describes the various characters' personalities and beliefs. When the reader first meets the main character, Jane Eyre, an orphan of ten, she is living at Gateshead Hall in England with her Aunt Reed and three cousins, all of whom she greatly despises. Soon after, Jane is sent away to the Lowood Institution, a girls' school, where she lives for the next eight years. Jane then moves to Thornfield Hall to work as a governess for Mr. Rochester; they fall in love and plan to be married. However, during the wedding ceremony, it is revealed that Mr. Rochester already has a wife. Humiliated, Jane leaves Thornfield and travels to Moor House. While there, Jane hears Mr. Rochester's voice calling her name one evening; she immediately returns to Thornfield only to find a charred and desolate house burned by Mr. Rochester's lunatic wife. During the tragedy, Mr. Rochester's wife dies and he looses a hand as well as the sight in both eyes. However, because his wife is deceased, Jane and Mr. Rochester are free to marry and do so. Even though Jane's existence is anchored in the need to love and to be loved, she is an intense character and refuses to sacrifice her moral principles and beliefs regardless of the situation. Jane's intense character is first observed when Mrs. Reed warns the director of the Lowood school, " 'to guard against her [Jane's] worst fault, a tendency to deceit' " (41). Later, Jane tells Mrs. Reed she is not a deceitful child an... ... middle of paper ... ...ohn she loves, but Mr. Rochester. This perspective also demonstrates Jane's unwillingness to submit to an unethical situation against her beliefs. Throughout the novel, Jane Eyre, it is revealed that Jane is a character whose existence is anchored in the need to love and to be loved. However, she is an intensely passionate character who refuses to sacrifice her moral principles and beliefs. While the desire to love and to be loved is a general characteristic of human nature, how this need is obtained is dependent upon the individual's moral principles and beliefs. Works Cited and Consulted Brontë, Charlotte. The World's Great Classics: Jane Eyre . New York: Grolier Incorporated. Gates, Barbara Timm, ed. Critical Essays on Charlotte Bronte. Boston: G. K. Hall, 1990. Pickrel, Paul. "Jane Eyre: The Apocalypse of the Body." ELH 53 (1986): 165-82.

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