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Jane Eyre’s Spiritual Journey and Her Quest for Love

Powerful Essays
The story of Jane Eyre can be seen as the story of a woman’s search for love. As a neglected orphan, Jane spends her childhood longing for someone to love her. When she becomes a young woman, she is at last offered the love she has long dreamed of. However, Jane chooses to reject this love. Jane’s rejection is founded in her deep and sincere morality and spirituality. Jane’s moral conscience has been shaped early in her life, and it is her principles that guide her through the difficult paths of life.

When the story begins, Jane Eyre is a poor, mistreated orphan, dependent upon the charity of her aunt. Unfortunately, instead of being treated kindly, she suffers from a neglect of love. Mrs. Reed excludes Jane from “privileges” intended only for her own children (Brontë 13). John Reed has an “antipathy” to Jane. He constantly “bullied and punished” her (16). Georgiana and Eliza view her with “indifference” and Mrs. Reed treats her with “aversion” (22). Jane is treated as “less than a servant”, because she does “nothing for [her] keep” (19). Mrs. Reed views Jane as a “burden” (260). She “hated” Jane from the first moment she saw her (260). Jane’s mother had married someone lower in social status than herself. Mrs. Reed cannot bear to be in charge of a “pauper” (261). She therefore treats Jane with contempt, punishing her, though she is quiet and docile. She pampers her own children, though they often mistreat Jane.

Jane is miserable because she is unloved. Her misery breaks into outrage. She confronts her aunt with stinging words: “You think that I have no feelings, and that I can do without one bit of love or kindness; but I cannot live so: and you have no pity” (45). Jane is starved for love; she craves for even a small drop ...

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...olutely bone of his bone, and flesh of his flesh” (500). Jane has at last found the love which she has spent her life searching for, and she can now enjoy it with God’s sanction and blessing.

Primary Source

Brontë, Charlotte. Jane Eyre. New York: Penguin, 2003. Print.

Secondary Sources

The Bible: Authorized King James Version with Apocrypha. New York: Oxford UP, 1997.

Bolt, Peter. “Rochester vs. St. John Rivers: or Why Jane Eyre Preferred a Cynical Sinner to a Religious Zealot”. Victorian Web. . 19 Jan. 1999. Web. 16 Sept. 2011.

Mason, Michael. “Introduction.” Jane Eyre. New York: Penguin, 2003. vii-xxxi. Print.

Melani, Lilia. "Charlotte Bronte: Jane Eyre." Department of English. Brooklyn College, 29 Mar. 2005. Web. 16 Sept. 2011. .
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